Jakarta (ANTARA) - Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian has urged regional governments to form a tuberculosis (TB) handling team in their respective region considering that TB is one of the serious health problems in the country.

"Regional TB handling team must be formed as soon as possible. It is important," he stressed, according to a statement issued by his ministry in Jakarta on Monday.

He conveyed the statement at a regional inflation control and tuberculosis handling coordination meeting in Jakarta on Monday.

According to data received by the ministry, almost 75 percent of TB patients are of working age and around 45 percent of the patients are not yet working.

This is considered very worrying, especially given the awaited demographic bonus, which will be marked by the dominance of the working-age population.

Karnavian said that TB handling can be carried out by learning from the government's COVID-19 handling experience.

"If we do it together and regularly, monitoring at least once a month, I believe we will be able to see which regions can curb it, which regions cannot," he added.

He said that his office and the Ministry of Health will prepare a circular to guide regional heads about forming TB handling teams.

The letter will also outline technical steps that need to be taken by regional heads, for instance, to detect those infected with TB. The letter will also serve as the basis for regional heads to allocate funding for the team through the regional budget or other budget items.

The meeting on Monday was also attended by Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin and Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy. The two also explained several key steps that need to be taken by regional governments, particularly to identify TB patients.

Translator: Narda Margaretha, Raka Adji
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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