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Indonesia Third in Global TB Rankings, Jokowi Urges More Tracking

President Joko Widodo has said he wants tuberculosis (TB) to be managed simultaneously with COVID-19. His comments come after new data shows that Indonesia has the third highest caseload of TB in the world, after India and China.

According to Jokowi, working on TB and COVID-19 in tandem is possible, especially in terms of patient tracking. “We now already have a model for COVID-19, which is aggressive tracking. We will also track TB with this tracking model,” Jokowi said during a closed meeting at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta on Tuesday 21st July.

Jokowi said that there are still many people who have TB but are unaware, so tracking TB carriers is also important in the midst of the government’s efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. “We know that there are 845,000 people with TB and only 562,000 have been identified. There’s still 33 percent of cases that haven’t been reported,” Jokowi explained.

The president also expressed that he wants COVID-19 and TBC to be handled faster and more efficiently. “We can solve two things that are important for the health of our people,” he said.

Jokowi warned that tuberculosis is one of the 10 infectious diseases that cause the most deaths in the world, greater than HIV-Aids, each year. In 2017, there were 116,000 people who died of TBC in Indonesia.

“We also need to know that 75 percent of TB patients are productive groups, meaning that they are in the productive ages of 15-55. This is what we must also be aware of,” he added.

Source: Kompas

Image: Liputan 6

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