Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health highlighted that community engagement and participation play an critical role in tuberculosis (TB) elimination campaign to prevent multi-aspect issues since the disease does not only affect health, but also other areas of life.

"Community participation regarding TB (handling) is not yet maximal; some still think that TB is only a health sector matter," director of communicable disease prevention and control at the ministry, Imran Pambudi said in a statement issued by his ministry here on Saturday.

He further said that TB does not only affect the health aspect, but also psychological, social, and economic aspects.

Pambudi noted that building multi-sectoral collaboration, which is still lacking, is one of the challenges faced in TB prevention. The implementation of a healthy lifestyle is also still lacking, he added.

He also noted that another challenge is the stigma surrounding TB. Therefore, education and community awareness of TB need to be stepped up.

"TB is a chronic disease that can be transmitted easily through air contaminated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. TB can be found in all groups and all age groups," he said.

He cited the Global TB Report 2023, which showed that the estimated burden of new TB cases in Indonesia increased from 969 thousand to 1,060 thousand cases, or 385 per 100 thousand population (10 percent), with the death rate reaching 134 thousand, or 49 per 100 thousand population.

He noted that to prevent the spread of TB, the government is intensifying several measures, namely providing BCG immunization and TB Preventive Therapy (TPT) to people living with TB patients, people living with HIV (PLHIV), and other at-risk groups.

"The Indonesian government is starting to be involved in efforts to develop TB vaccines. Currently, there are three types of vaccine that are being developed," he said.

The other efforts are implementing TB Infection Prevention and Control measures for health workers and cadres as well as disseminating information on TB prevention and symptoms, he added.

Pambudi underlined that those efforts need the support and collaboration of all parties, not only from the health sector, but also ministries, institutions, regional governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, TB survivor organizations, and other stakeholders.

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Translator: Mecca Yumna, Raka Adji
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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