US assists Indonesian government in combating tuberculosis

US assists Indonesian government in combating tuberculosis

(ANTARA/Yusran Uccang)

Jakarta  (ANTARA News) - The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided US$12 million in assistance to help combat tuberculosis in Indonesia, according to the US Embassy here on its official website on Friday.

USAID Deputy Mission Director Derrick Brown and Indonesian Ministry of Health Director General of Communicable Disease Control and Environmental Health Tjandra Yoga Aditama launched the USAID`s $12 million Community Empowerment of People Against Tuberculosis (CEPAT) health program on September 3.

USAID`s CEPAT program supports the Government of Indonesia`s efforts to combat tuberculosis (TB) and increase access to early and effective TB diagnosis and treatment.

"On behalf of the American people, USAID works with the Ministry of Health, Indonesian organizations and local communities to combat tuberculosis and save lives," said Brown. "Together with our partners, we will raise awareness about TB and have more people with symptoms tested. We will also support patients to complete their treatment and be cured. USAID is proud to partner with the Ministry of Health and support their TB program."

"CEPAT supports the Indonesian National Tuberculosis Program to achieve universal access to quality and early TB diagnosis and treatment among all care providers," said Tjandra. "CEPAT was designed in close coordination with the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) and is intended to support Community Systems Strengthening, one of the six pillars of the NTP`s Comprehensive Model for TB control in Indonesia."

The program will increase the number of people who get tested, treated and cured for TB in Jakarta, East Java, West Java, Banten, West Sumatra, Nusa Tenggara Barat, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Papua and West Papua.

CEPAT works with communities and local organizations to target people who live in urban slums, displaced and mobile populations, the uninsured and people with reduced immunity due to malnourishment or HIV infection.

USAID`s CEPAT program will be implemented by three Indonesian partner organizations: Lembaga Kesehatan Nadhlatul Ulama (LKNU), Jaringan Kesehatan Masyarakat (JKM) and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Timika (RCD).

Earlier this year, USAID recognized Indonesia`s global leadership in the fight against TB in ceremonies in Washington D.C and Jakarta, highlighting Indonesia`s progress in achieving its Millennium Development Goals for TB. Yet this progress needs to be accelerated, as Indonesia remains among the top five countries globally with the highest TB infections.

There are about 450,000 new TB cases and 65,000 TB-related deaths in Indonesia every year. Multi-drug resistant strains of TB are on the rise.

Approximately 30 percent of Indonesia`s estimated TB cases are not detected, and many patients are diagnosed late.

USAID partners with the Government of Indonesia and local governments to reduce the threat of infectious disease and to provide services to reduce preventable deaths.

Our support for combating TB is an important component of our overall partnership with Indonesia in health and is included in the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, a commitment made by Presidents Obama and Yudhoyono to deepen bilateral relations between the United States and Indonesia.