Chief of the Stop TB Partnership Forum for Indonesia (FSTPI) Arifin Panigoro, along with Executive Director of Stop TB International, Lucica Ditio (left) held a press conference following a meeting with President Joko Widodo at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Monday (9/12/2019). (ANTARA)
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is preparing a regulation to combat tuberculosis (TBC) in Indonesia, according to Chief of the Stop TB Partnership Forum for Indonesia (FSTPI) Arifin Panigoro.
"One point highlighted by (the president) to ensure smooth cooperation among ministries and institutions is that he is preparing a presidential regulation on combating TBC," Panigoro stated following a meeting with President Jokowi at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Monday.
Through the presidential regulation, not only the Health Ministry but also the Home Affairs Ministry and other relevant ministries can partake in efforts to eradicate TBC, he remarked.
"As we all know, regions in Indonesia have a strong autonomy, so regional heads, including governors and district heads, play a very important role," he noted.
As a civil organization, the FSTPI remains resolved to fight TBC in Indonesia, he emphasized.
"What we are doing is only combating TB or TBC. We will report this to the presidents of Indonesia, China, and India that bear witness to the largest number of TBC cases in the world, so they must be serious about combating it," he stated.
The Health Ministry is solely tasked with combating TB. However, in view of the large problems, the ministry will find it hard to work single-handedly, he pointed out.
"As a civil organization, we are really willing to help the government," he remarked.
The world has set a target of becoming TBC free in a decade’s time, or by 2030, he pointed out.
"This is no easy task to accomplish in Indonesia," he affirmed.
The global tuberculosis report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that no single country is free from the disease.
In 2017, an estimated 842 thousand Indonesians had contracted TB, caused by the mycobacterium tuberculosis virus, of which 23 thousand developed drug resistance to the disease.
Almost 75 percent of TB sufferers in Indonesia are from the productive age group.
The situation is a threat to fulfilling one of the agendas of the medium-term development plan 2020-2024 in which the country is striving to improve the quality and competitive edge of human resources.
TB is a global disease found in every country across the world. It is the leading infectious cause of death worldwide.
In 2018, an estimated 10 million people had contracted TB worldwide constituting 5.7 million men, 3.2 million women, and 1.1 million children. The cases transcended countries and age groups.
The WHO estimates that 1.8 billion people—close to one quarter of the world's population—are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb). (ANTARA)