Indonesia continues Mpox prevention efforts

Indonesia continues Mpox prevention efforts

Jakarta, The Gulf Observer: The Jakarta Provincial Government and Health Ministry continue to make detection and prevention efforts to halt the spread of Monkeypox (Mpox) in Indonesia, especially Jakarta.

“The two parties continue to make utmost efforts to prevent an outbreak of Monkeypox,” Head of the Jakarta Health Office’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Immunization Unit Ngabila Salama said on Sunday.

To this end, first, the two parties conduct early detection efforts for treatment.The government had also issued a circular letter number HK.02.02/C/4408/2023 concerning Increasing Awareness of Mpox in Indonesia, she said.

According to Salama, the discovery of active cases is not only related to those having close contacts but also symptoms who come to health facilities to be immediately tested by PCR if they meet the criteria for suspect.

If the result is positive, a further whole genome sequencing (WGS) examination will be carried out based on instructions from the Ministry of Health, she continued.

Out of 100 positive cases, one infected person could die. It is mostly caused by secondary infections and low immunity conditions in vulnerable groups such as gays, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, children, and the elderly, Salama remarked.

The preventive efforts are then followed by such measures as vaccination for 500 people from vulnerable groups next week.

According to her, each person will be given two doses with four-week gap since the stock of Mpox vaccine in Indonesia is only recorded at 1,000 doses for 500 people.

Second, the authorities also intensify massive outreach and education to prevent the disease with a clean and healthy lifestyle (PHBS); urge people to wear mask; wash hands with running water and soap; avoid skin contact and wounds; have safe, healthy, and clean sexual relationship; and avoid sexual intercourse for sick people or people with Mpox symptoms, Salama added.

In addition, every close contact with Mpox patient will be monitored by the community health center (puskesmas) along with laboratory examination for symptoms in close contact.

As an anticipation to suppress the Monkeypox transmission, Salama informed that every positive case will be isolated at the hospital, even for mild symptoms.

The Mpox cases in Indonesia began with one case in August 2022. Another case was detected on October 13, 2023, with the patient still undergoing isolation in hospital.

One case was also found on October 19 with the patient undergoing isolation in the hospital and four cases occurred on October 21 with patients in the referral process for isolation at the hospital.

Four other people remain categorised as suspects with Monkeypox symptoms. They are still being examined at the PCR laboratory. Meanwhile, three people who were in the suspect category had their status declared negative, Salama added.