Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin asked health stakeholders at the United Nations (UN) to stop discussions and start taking action to end tuberculosis (TB).

"Come on, stop gathering and talking. Start working to overcome TB," the minister said at a side event on TB, which was held as part of the agenda of the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Health. The event was followed online from Jakarta on Friday.

He emphasized that meetings and discussions cannot eradicate TB. This is because action, not discussion is needed to tackle the increase in TB case detection in Indonesia.

He cited a 2022 report from the World Health Organization (WHO), which predicted the number of TB cases in Indonesia to be 969 thousand. However, at the time, the number of TB cases detected in Indonesia was only around 560 thousand.

"So where were the 400 thousand (remaining cases)? Finally, we (Indonesia) took the initiative to immediately implement programs to look for TB cases that have not been discovered," the minister recalled.

With the implementation of the programs, there was a spike in TB case detection of around 724 thousand, he informed, eliciting applause from the audience, which consisted of world stakeholders in the field of TB.

Indonesia also encouraged a number of world health institutions and manufacturers to carry out clinical trials in Indonesia, including for TB vaccination, he said.

The minister further said he is optimistic that community involvement with many people working together toward one goal, that is, eradicating TB, will produce commensurate results.

"That is the biggest asset we have. It must be executed, but together, because it is impossible to do it alone," he stressed.

On Wikipedia, there is a lot of information about TB, starting from its early phase, its epidemiology in the Renaissance era, in the 80s and 90s, to until now, he said. This information also shows that TB has existed for thousands of years.

"One more thing, we have to dare to dream. If we work together, we will be able to see a new chapter on Wikipedia, namely 'The End of TB,'" he added.

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Translator: Sean Muhamad, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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