02 February 2017, Jakarta, Indonesia - The Minister of Health of Indonesia launched the Ministerial Decree on Tuberculosis, that includes details on the policies and guidelines on TB Control, covering strategic issues needed to accelerate TB program implementation - and especially announcing that TB has now become a mandatory notifiable disease in the country.
The document was developed throughout 2016 by a group of experts of the National TB Programme, partners and representatives of provinces and districts, led by the NTP Manager Dr. Asik Surya.
Indonesia is among the highest TB burden countries in the world, with 1,020,000 estimated new TB cases every year and, according to data from 2015, with an estimated 100,000 people who died from TB that year.
The biggest challenge in Indonesia is represented by the fact that out of the estimated 1,020,000 people affected by TB, only 330,729 are detected. In 2015, about 680,000 people were "missed" by TB services " either not diagnosed and treated or not recorded and accounted for in the official system. Making TB mandatory notifiable is one of the many steps forward the programme is doing and will do to address this significant challenge.
The launch of the Ministerial Decree took place at the end of two intensive weeks, during which a comprehensive review of the National TB Programme was done by a group of national and international experts. This review was funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, organized by the National TB Programme and the WHO Indonesia Country Office and led by Dr. Paul Nunn. The reviewers (international experts from the Global Fund, USAID, WHO, KNCV, ATS, the Dutch Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), IRD Pakistan, the Stop TB Partnership (including its Global Drug Facility), Global Coalition of TB Activists and national TB experts) developed a detailed and comprehensive set of recommendations to be considered for implementation by the country programme. The Joint Evaluation of the TB programme was done in parallel with the identical review of the HIV programme.
Her Excellency Prof. Nila F. Moeloek, MD, PhD, the Minister of Health of Indonesia said, "Our commitment and obligation for achieving the elimination of TB are ensured by the implementation of the Exit Strategy, National Health Insurance, and Social Protection Schemes. Our Family Health and Community Approaches, District Based Public-Private Mix, Active Case Finding, and Partnership Engagement policies in TB control are key to improve the access and outreach of the previously unreached TB cases. A legal framework, which includes declaring TB as a notifiable disease, has been established to support TB control in achieving the elimination of TB."
Dr. Asik Surya, the NTP Manager, said, "This document has long been awaited by all TB workers and officers to guide and ensure integrated and comprehensive TB management and implementation towards ending TB."
Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership and Dr. Jihane Tawilah, WHO Representative to Indonesia, who visited Indonesia for the High-Level Debriefing applauded the launch of the Ministerial Decree and committed that both WHO and the Stop TB Partnership, working together with the Global Fund, USAID, other donors, partners, private sector and communities, will support the country government and TB programme to scale up the efforts and to ensure that all people with TB (including drug-resistant TB and those co-infected with TB/HIV) are reached with quality services, diagnosed, treated and cured.