Indonesia to Boost Health Services for Poor, Fears Over AIDS
April 7, 2011
Indonesia, the world's fourth-most populous country, saw its number of new HIV cases rise from 3,863 in 2009 to 4,158 last year, for a cumulative total of 24,131. "We have certain provinces that are facing AIDS very seriously, like Jakarta, Bali ... Papua province," said Health Minister Endang Sedyaningsih.
Religious sensitivities in the Muslim country somewhat hamper HIV/AIDS prevention efforts, the minister noted. "We cannot put ads for condoms openly on TV. They are available, but we cannot promote their use or people will say the health ministry promotes promiscuity," said Sedyaningsih. She called on non-governmental organizations and religious communities to take the lead in promoting safe sex.
Indonesia has drafted a plan to cover basic hospital services for the poor, said Sedyaningsih. "They will be covered by either the central government or the provincial government," she said. Approximately 56 percent of Indonesia's 238 million people have some form of health insurance.
The ministry also is tackling an increase in "lifestyle" diseases such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Sedyaningsih said health services are being boosted to treat adults for hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.
03.29.2011; Tan Ee Lyn; Fitri Wulandari
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