How Does Indonesia Face COVID-19 and TB? House of Representatives' Expert Staff Hold a Webinar on It
Jakarta, 8 May 2020. Stop TB Partnership Indonesia and the Global TB Caucus, in partnership with the TB Private Sector and USAID Indonesia conducted a webinar for Experts Staff of the House of Representatives Republic of Indonesia. The purpose of this webinar was to provide an understanding on how Indonesia should address both TB and COVID-19. Attended by 220 participants, the webinar was streamed online and moderated by Heny Akhmad, Executive Director of Stop TB Partnership Indonesia.
Indonesia is currently facing several pandemics which affect the social and economic life of the people, two of which are Tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19. Indonesia has the third highest TB incidence in the world after India and China. The Global Tuberculosis Report estimates that more than 2,300 people fall ill every day due to tuberculosis in Indonesia. This treatable and preventable infectious disease has claimed the lives of more than 200 Indonesians every day. At present the number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has gone above 18,000 and increasing rapidly.
Hon. Melki Laka Lena, Vice Chair of Commission IX, House of Representatives Indonesia, opened the webinar by saying that TB has been a neglected issue over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore the House of Representatives Republic of Indonesia urged the Ministry of Health not to reduce and if possible increase the TB budget this year.
The webinar covered several topics such as general overview of similarities between COVID-19 and TB, financing of TB and COVID-19 response, support of Global Fund during the pandemic, Ministry of Health strategic approach for TB and COVID-19, and also the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in TB patients. Ganendra Kristandya, Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator of Global TB Caucus Secretariat also delivered a session on Asia Pacific TB Caucus and the important role that Parliamentarians can play to ensure that TB Service is not disrupted during the pandemic.