Indonesian Government Intensifies Efforts for Comprehensive Cancer Treatment

Indonesian Government Intensifies Efforts for Comprehensive Cancer Treatment

Jakarta, The Gulf Observer: Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin affirmed the Indonesian government’s unwavering commitment to addressing cancer, including pediatric cancer, through a multifaceted approach aimed at ensuring patients receive the highest quality treatment available.

In a statement from his office on Thursday, Minister Sadikin highlighted the pivotal role of early detection in cancer management in Indonesia, emphasizing the reinforcement of these efforts at community health centers (puskesmas).

“As of this year, we are set to equip all puskesmas with state-of-the-art devices for early detection of leukemia and lymphoma through blood tests, facilitating immediate referrals to hospitals,” Minister Sadikin explained.

The initiative includes the distribution of hematology analyzers and blood chemical analyzers for detecting leukemia and lymphoma, along with ophthalmoscopes dedicated to identifying eye cancer, particularly retinoblastoma. These critical health devices will be dispatched to 10,000 puskesmas nationwide.

Furthermore, Minister Sadikin underscored the government’s commitment to educating medical professionals on cancer’s early detection, emphasizing the significance of raising awareness and enhancing diagnostic capabilities across the healthcare system.

In a comprehensive plan to improve cancer care accessibility, the government has outlined key strategies. First, chemotherapy facilities will be progressively provided in 514 districts and provinces, ensuring prompt cancer services for patients in remote or less accessible areas.

Secondly, the government is expanding therapeutic options for pediatric cancer patients. Dharmais Cancer Hospital, as of 2024, will conduct bone marrow transplants in children. Successful implementations will pave the way for wider application in other hospitals. Additionally, the hospital will introduce Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR T-cell) therapy this year, a groundbreaking immunological therapy enhancing T cells’ ability to identify and combat blood cancer in children.

Health Minister Sadikin, during a visit to the “Rumah Kita” housing owned by the Indonesian Cancer Children Foundation (YKAKI) on February 28, highlighted the prevalence of lymphoma and leukemia, often identified at later stages. He commended the foundation’s role in providing temporary housing for patients and their caretakers during cancer treatment.

Expressing gratitude, Minister Sadikin acknowledged that the government’s efforts necessitate collaboration with various stakeholders, including foundations like YKAKI. Looking ahead, he outlined plans to seek donors for shelter homes, akin to “Rumah Kita,” to optimize their functionality and extend support to those undergoing cancer treatment.