Indonesia has been identified as the second country with the highest number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the world. This is according to the latest data released by the Global TB Report (GTR) in 2022.
Imran Pambudi, the Director of Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Health, stated that there were approximately 969,000 cases of tuberculosis in Indonesia in 2022. In other words, 354 out of every 100,000 people in Indonesia have TB.
“Indonesia ranks second among countries with the highest tuberculosis burden in the world with an estimated 969,000 cases in 2022,” said Imran during a webinar held by the Ministry of Health to mark World TB Day, some time ago.
According to Imran, TB cases in Indonesia are not decreasing every year, but are actually increasing. There was a significant increase in TB cases in 2022.
There were 443,235 TB cases in Indonesia in 2021. That number jumped to 717,941 cases in 2022.
“And the current data, as of 2023 even though it’s still early in the year, there are already 118,438 TB cases,” he said.
The workforce is said to be contributing to the high TB transmission rates in Indonesia. Workers are found to dominate TB patients.
Most of those exposed are factory workers, farmers and fishermen, state-owned enterprise employees, and civil servants.
“The highest number is among workers, with 54,887 cases, followed by farmers or livestock breeders or fishermen with 51,941 cases, self-employed individuals with 44,299 cases, private sector or state-owned enterprise employees with 37,235 cases, and civil servants with 4,778 cases,” he said.
Imran also noted that TB cases in Indonesia are mostly experienced by people of working age, particularly those aged 45-54.
This condition clearly presents its own challenges. Moreover, according to Imran, TB is an easily transmissible disease. Management must be carried out from upstream to downstream in order to prevent transmission.
“The best education and management must be carried out. Treatment should not be interrupted to prevent transmission to other colleagues,” he said.
TB itself is a contagious disease caused by bacterial infection. Although it generally affects the lungs, TB can also attack all parts of the body.
People with poor immunity are at high risk of contracting TB. For example, those with HIV/AIDS, diabetes, nutritional disorders, kidney failure, and smokers.
Furthermore, Imran also reminded that TB does not only occur in adults. Many Indonesian children also suffer from this infectious disease.
According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, 57,500 children have contracted TB as of March 2023.