WHO: Indonesia still faces a high burden of tropical infectious diseases WHO: Indonesia still faces a high burden of tropical infectious diseases

WHO: Indonesia still faces a high burden of tropical infectious diseases

WHO: Indonesia still faces a high burden of tropical infectious diseases

Neglected tropical diseases cause high rates of morbidity, disability, and stigma, especially affecting the poorest and most marginalized populations, including children, women, and the elderly

Jakarta - Deputy Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Indonesia Momoe Takeuchi said Indonesia is still facing a high burden of tropical infectious diseases, despite prevention and control efforts and the availability of effective treatment.

"Neglected tropical diseases cause high rates of morbidity, disability and stigma, especially affecting the poorest and most marginalized populations, including children, women and the elderly," said Momoe during a speech at the Commemoration of World NTD's Day 2024 attended online in Jakarta, Wednesday.

Globally, said Momoe, there are 21 Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) which are caused by various pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa and parasitic worms.

"Eleven of these diseases can be found in Indonesia," he said.

He said efforts to combat NTDs were critical to achieving universal health coverage and ensuring everyone's right to health was fulfilled.

Along with highly contagious diseases such as dengue fever and tuberculosis, Momoe continued that Indonesia is also struggling to eliminate and eradicate NTDs such as filariasis, worms, schistosomiasis (snail fever), leprosy and yaws .

Other diseases, such as scabies, rabies, and poisonous snake bites, also affect public health and require the attention of competent authorities.

On World NTDs Day 2024, he said, WHO invites everyone, including leaders, government officials and society, to unite, act and eliminate NTDs in the world.

"We also call for investing boldly and sustainably to free around 1.6 billion people in the world's most vulnerable communities from the vicious cycle of persistent disease and poverty," he said.

In Indonesia, WHO encourages national and regional leaders to eradicate yaws throughout the country, of which fewer than 50 cases are currently reported in 2023.


In addition, WHO encourages efforts to eliminate schistosomiasis (snail fever) which is currently only found in 28 villages and eliminating leprosy and filariasis by 2030.

"To achieve this target collaboration with various stakeholders and ensuring access to health resources such as medicines, diagnostic equipment and vaccines is very important," he said.

WHO appreciates the Government of Indonesia for its strong leadership in implementing a subnational elimination verification approach to verify elimination efforts from villages to provinces.

WHO is ready to certify elimination and eradication at the national level. This approach has been recognized by other countries, he said, especially large countries like Indonesia. 

"Today I congratulate the 99 districts/cities that have been verified as free from yaws and the three districts that have eliminated filariasis," he said.

WHO invites all elements of society in Indonesia to celebrate this success and encourage other districts/cities to implement similar strategies in areas that have successfully eliminated yaws.

"WHO is committed to supporting Indonesia in achieving the SDGs target of ending the NTD epidemic and other infectious diseases by 2030," he said.

The commemoration of World NTD's Day 2024 was held in Jakarta today in the presence of the Minister of Health (Menkes) Budi Gunadi Sadikin, regents, mayors and district/city representatives, Director General of Disease Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Health Maxi Rondonuwu, as well as all work team heads and program managers National NTD, provincial district/city.

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