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Government offers compensation to families affected by acute kidney injury cases

Jakarta Globe - January 10, 2024

Agnes Valentina Christa, Jakarta – The government has extended financial compensations to the families of patients affected by acute kidney injury cases in 2022 and 2023. The aid amounts to Rp 50 million ($3.200) for each deceased patient and Rp 60 million for each surviving patient.

"This support reflects the government's genuine concern and empathy," said Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, during a press briefing in Jakarta on Wednesday.

In 2022, hundreds of children experienced kidney injuries, strongly suspected to be linked to ethylene glycol (EG) and diethylene glycol (DEG) contamination on children's syrup medicines.

Previously healthy children unexpectedly encountered kidney failure shortly after birth, resulting in fatalities, with survivors requiring costly medical care. In response, the government temporarily suspended the use of medicine syrup for children.

A total of 312 patients, mostly children, were affected, including 218 who passed away and 94 currently undergoing recovery and treatment in hospitals.

Muhadjir said that the public should not misinterpret this assistance as an attempt by the government to cover up cases of kidney injury in children. He stressed that this assistance is purely an expression of the government's compassion.

"This is purely the government's concern and the president's initiative to provide compensation to the victims," he said.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi said that his ministry bears full responsibility for children undergoing treatment and outlined three forms of assistance available to the patients.

Firstly, all patients are entitled to complimentary medical care, granting them access to all standard services from the national health insurance scheme BPJS Kesehatan, and services across various facilities and hospitals in districts or cities.

Secondly, the ministry also provides health transportation assistance for victims with difficult or distant access to health facilities or hospitals. The third is the financial compensation provided today.

"This is the government's way to ease the lives of our community members affected by the disease. We hope that the victims and their families can live more comfortably in the future and receive support for their health," he concluded.

Two pharmaceutical companies have been named suspects for allegedly using dangerous chemicals in the production of syrup medicine. The Drug and Food Supervisory Agency (BPOM) also took action against a chemical distributor company identified as Samudra Chemical for allegedly mixing EG and DEG with water and selling them as propylene glycol, which is often used as a solvent in syrup medicine production.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/government-offers-compensation-to-families-affected-by-acute-kidney-injury-case