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Air pollution: Health Minister urges people to wear KF94 masks

Tempo - August 29, 2023

Jakarta – Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin appealed to the public to use masks to prevent respiratory diseases caused by air pollution.

"We suggest that the standard mask is at least KF94 or KF95, because PM2.5 (particles) which are dangerous can enter the blood vessels," said the Minister after attending a limited meeting on air pollution chaired by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Monday 28 August 2023.

If people are feeling unease or pain in their respiratory system, Budi asked the public to immediately go to the nearest health center or hospital.

"Later, we will educate the doctors about how to handle (respiratory disorders). We will also work with the Persahabatan Hospital as the coordinator of hospitals and health centers in Jabodetabek (Greater Jakarta), so it is hoped that if there are (residents) who got admitted into the health center or hospital, the diagnosis and treatment will be the same," said Budi.

At the closed meeting, Budi reported to Jokowi about six respiratory disorders that could be triggered by air pollution, namely pneumonia, acute respiratory infections (ARI), asthma, lung cancer, chronic lung disease, and tuberculosis.

The diseases caused by respiratory disorders, he said, burdened the Indonesian Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) up to Rp10 trillion. In order to respond to the impact of air pollution which is currently raging in the Greater Jakarta area, the Ministry of Health has formed a Committee for Respiratory Disease and Air Pollution Control.

The results of disease surveillance arising from the impact of air pollution in Jabodetabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi) are an increase in ARI cases which reach an average of 200,000 cases per month.

The data was compiled from reports from service workers at health centers and hospitals in the local area in the last month. The Ministry of Health together with the committee also conducts periodic surveillance every week to monitor the rate of ARI and pneumonia cases in health centers and hospitals, along with the implementation of an early warning and response system.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1765318/air-pollution-health-minister-urges-people-to-wear-kf94-mask