Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry has said that five factors could lead to higher tuberculosis (TB) incidence in Indonesia, with smoking being the highest contributor to TB cases, thus they need to be addressed.

"The highest (contributor) is cigarette (smoking), the second is nutritional issues, third is HIV, fourth is diabetes, and lastly alcohol," the ministry's director for prevention and control of infectious diseases, Imran Pambudi, said during a broadcast here on Thursday.

At the "Launching and Training for Policy Tracker Dashboard: Navigating Tuberculosis Policy Map," Imran said that tuberculosis is not a disease that stands on its own, as there are factors that contribute to it, all of which need to be addressed.

According to research, smoking accounts for about 20 percent of TB cases, hence by addressing smoking, some of those cases can be tackled, he pointed out.

"I also did small research; so in Indonesia, 76 percent of its men smoke. That's the top in Asia, that 76 percent. And I also read that spending on cigarettes is second-highest, just after food," he informed.

"Every month, per capita, there's spending on cigarettes, some Rp76,500. So (after) foods, second is cigarettes. The others being education, health," he stated.

He appealed to Indonesians to pay attention to the issue to help tackle tuberculosis. He said that in 2023, Indonesia was predicted to have more than a million new tuberculosis patients.

"And deaths from TB are more than COVID, actually. If calculated, death caused by TB, every four minutes, one passed away," he added.

He said that the disease has existed since thousands, even millions of years ago, and it is yet to be eradicated. Recently, however, the world has accorded more attention to the issue. One such instance was the United Nations General Assembly in 2023.

With the issue making its way into the political realm, the Indonesian government has followed suit, with the President issuing Presidential Regulation 67 of 2021 on Handling Tuberculosis, he added.

He noted that the regulation calls for central and regional governments, along with other sectors, to strengthen their commitments in addressing the issue.

The second, he added, is to improve the relevant policies at the national and regional levels. Third, Imran said, is to offer good quality TBC treatment and put in more resources and efforts toward detecting more cases.

"Lastly, to give assistance to people who are affected by tuberculosis, so they can pursue treatment accordingly until healed," he added.

Related news: Smoking prevalence in 10- to 18-year-olds declined to 7.4 percent

Related news: Cigarettes are root cause of multidimensional problems: Ministry

Reporter: Mecca Yumna Ning Prisie
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
Copyright © ANTARA 2024