Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin deemed it vital for housewives to be knowledgeable about arbovirus handling, as he believes they are the first and foremost caregivers for their families.

"If the husband is sick, the first people that will treat, the wife. If your children are sick, the first family doctor is the wife. If your cat and dogs are sick, it will be taken care of by the wife, not the husband," Sadikin stated during the Arbovirus Summit hosted on the Health Ministry's official YouTube channel here on Monday.

The minister drew attention to the presence of 1.5 million integrated health services (posyandu) cadres, with knowledge of arbovirus handling, spread across 85 thousand villages in Indonesia. However, Sadikin expects the knowledge to be imparted to as many as 80 million housewives.

According to the minister, housewives are the right people to know about arbovirus handling, for they are compassionate towards their family, and they seek no payment from the government while treating their families, unlike hospitals.

He stated that such education could be disseminated through various social media platforms accessible to housewives as well as during religious gatherings they are part of.

The minister cited as an example the tendency for urban housewives to scroll through Instagram. He pointed out that mosquitoes that cause dengue are rampant in cities, so it is fitting to educate about the disease on that platform.

"If you are reading Facebook, then you live in the villages. Villages, you are exposed to malaria. This is a village mosquito. Different type of factor control," the minister added.

The minister stated that dissemination of education is the most important step in addressing the arbovirus issue, as it can push people to change and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

He also deemed it vital to be able to give at least the most basic of treatment for any diseases, including dengue, and it starts from the housewives.

"Strongly believe that the best way to do a healthcare intervention is to prevent rather than to cure. It is much cheaper and also better quality of life. Hence, that is why if I have to educate, I prefer to educate the people not to contract dengue or get sick," he remarked.

Apart from education, Sadikin drew attention to other control measures, such as strong surveillance, as well as vaccine development.

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Reporter: Mecca Yumna Ning Prisie
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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