Health issues need inter-departmental efforts: Minister

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesias Health Minister Nila Moeloek said here on Tuesday that inter-departmental efforts are needed to handle health issues, calling on all parties involved to improve cooperation.

"Issues in health sector cannot be handled by one single institution; it would need an inter-departmental effort," Nila, who accompanied President Joko Widodo, stated at the opening of an international conference on global health issue at the state palace.

The cooperation among different institutions must be increased, along with the increased mobility of people, she stated.

"It is similar to how we had overcome the bird flu outbreak in 2006, followed by an Ebola outbreak in another region. The fact is that only 16 percent countries are ready to handle the outbreaks," Nila added.

Millions of Indonesian Muslims have travelled abroad to perform Hajj and umrah, she remarked. "If we are not ready to tackle MERS outbreak, then it could turn into an extraordinary outbreak. Therefore, we are working in cooperation with the Indonesian military (TNI)."

The international conference, attended by participants from some countries, was aimed to exchange information and experience in handling various health issues.

"South Korea has the experience, and we too have the experience on handling bird flu," she revealed.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Military Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo explained that the international conference would highlight Indonesias role in global health.

"The issues on health security have become one hot topic of discussion and a priority during the G20 summit 2017 held in Germany," Gatot pointed out.

After the summit, the president has given the mandate to the Indonesian Military and the Health Ministry to show its contribution in global health and security to the country as well as the international society.

The Indonesian Military and the Health Ministry were supported by Indonesias Foreign Affairs Ministry, the World Health organization (WHO), and many other institutions to organize the conference in Jakarta, he stated.

It was for the first time that WHO has combined military and civil organizations in the discussion of global health security, Gatot noted.

Source: ANTARA News

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