March 19, 2014
Every Hour There Are 83 Cases of Tuberculosis in Indonesia
SOHO #BetterU: World’s Tuberculosis Day

JAKARTA (19/03) – Indonesia is ranked fourth in the world for the most tuberculosis cases. Every year there are 730,000 tuberculosis cases in Indonesia. The good news is that from 1990 until 2012, the number of tuberculosis cases significantly decreases constantly, either through early detection or medication. Therefore, education regarding tuberculosis must continually be given in order to increase reduce its prevalence. This is explained by the Chairperson of Indonesian Association of Lung Doctors, dr. Muhammad Arifin Nawas, Sp.P(K), MARS, in the event SOHO #BetterU: World’s Tuberculosis Day, in Jakarta (19/03). SOHO #BetterU is a health education program organized by pharmaceutical company SOHO Global Health.     

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by “tuberculosis basil”. TB is transmittable through the air, when a patient coughs, sneezes, spits or speaks. The germs spread through phlegm and can be inhaled by the people around him/her. TB is not transmittable through blood infusion, breast milk or eating and drinking apparatuses that have been washed. Generally TB strikes the lung. yet it can also strike other organs such as blood brain barrier, bones, kidney and so forth.     

Arifin explained that several common symptoms shown when a person is infected with TB are fever, shivering, sweating at night, decreased appetite, weight loss and fatigue. TB Lung has unique symptoms, namely prolonged cough for 2 - 3 weeks, chest pain, and cough with blood.     

TB can be suffered by anyone, with higher possibility when there is contact between a TB patient and a child under five years old, contact with an immunocompromised (lacking an adequate immune response) patient , especially HIV infection and contact with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR TB) patient. An MDR TB patient is a patient who is already immune to anti tuberculosis (OAT) drugs that are very potent, rifampicin and isoniazid.     

OAT is the main medicine in TB treatment. In addition to OAT, herbal medicines are also given to TB patients as complimentary drug. A research conducted by Fathiyah Isbaniah, Heidy Agusti, Priyanti Soepandi, Erlina Burhan with he main researcher Arifin Nawas achieved an outcome that combination of extracts of mengkudu (morinda) and red ginger is effective as adjuvant (medication added to increase effectiveness of primary therapy) of TB treatment. The research was conducted at Persahabatan Hospital with total 100 patients as respondents divided into two groups, namely users of OAT therapy with combination of mengkudu and red ginger extracts and users of OAT with placebo.     

The result of the research concluded that within less than or equal to six weeks, the group using combination of mengkudu and red ginger extracts experienced conversion (change of positive acid–fast bacillus (BTA) to negative BTA) is faster than in the placebo group). Conversion acceleration can reduce TB transmission.     

Based on the result of the research it is suggested that supplement of mengkudu and red ginger extract combination can be given as additional therapy in patients who are going through treatment in accordance with national TB guidelines. However, advanced researches are still needed with bigger number of subjects and more complete examination of immunology status.

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