Hajj: Indonesia requests  $5 million aid from Saudi Arabia to combat tuberculosis and meningitis

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The Kingdom of  Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will provide funds to help Indonesia tackle the tuberculosis epidemic and buy meningitis vaccines, the country’s health ministry announced on Tuesday.


At least eight agreements, including financial support from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for the Indonesian health sector, resulted from discussions with foreign officials during the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 20 last week by the Minister of Health, Budi Gunadi Sadikin. in Bali.


Saudi Arabia will provide $5 million in financial assistance for meningitis drugs and vaccines for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, according to a statement from the Indonesian Health Ministry.


Additionally, the UAE is providing $10 million to tackle TBC (tuberculosis) in Indonesia.


#Indonesia has the highest rate of meningitis cases in Southeast Asia, due to a lack of vaccine supplies and insufficient domestic production.


Since there is a shortage of vaccines in Indonesia, the world’s largest country with a Muslim majority, it has become difficult for Indonesian travelers to perform Hajj and Umrah.


Another important issue is tuberculosis. According to a World Health Organization report this year, Indonesia had 969,000 incidents annually, second only to India in terms of number of cases.


Officials in Indonesia announced plans in March to launch a massive screening program as the nation seeks to eradicate the infectious disease by 2030.

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According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, the majority of tuberculosis cases are found on the island of Java, which is home to about 150 million people and includes Jakarta.


According to the Jakarta-based organization Stop TB Partnership Indonesia, financial support from the United Arab Emirates will help Indonesia fill the funding gap needed to fully finance its national program against tuberculosis.


Dia S Saminarsih, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Stop TB Partnership Indonesia, told Arab News that the UAE’s commitment, which is a direct result of bilateral diplomacy, is very strategic.


As Indonesia needs to catch up to recover from service disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, this support is also timely.


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