Doctors want more local funds to fight TB

Doctors urged the government Thursday to increase the annual national budget health allocation from 4 percent to the international standard of 30 percent in order to facilitate the ongoing battle against tuberculosis and other killer respiratory tract diseases.

“We need political support from the government because Indonesia is still dependent on the US$70 million in foreign aid for tuberculosis and other health programs,” said Achmad Hudoyo of the Indonesian Tuberculosis Eradication Association.

Indonesia ranks third in the list of 22 high-burden TB countries in the world.

The Indonesian Society of Respirology and eight other medical organizations launched the Year of the Lung 2010 public awareness campaign at the Persahabatan Hospital in East Jakarta on Thursday with a call for political support from the government to expand the national health budget. (rch/nvt)