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Faculty of Medicine UI Professor Examines Multi-stakeholder to Achieve Zero Leprosy by 2030 in Indonesia

Universitas Indonesia > News > Faculty of Medicine News > Faculty of Medicine UI Professor Examines Multi-stakeholder to Achieve Zero Leprosy by 2030 in Indonesia

Chancellor of UI, Prof. Ari Kuncoro, S.E., M.A., Ph.D. inaugurated Prof. Dr. dr. Sri Linuwih Susetyo Wardhani Menaldi, Sp.D.V.E., Subsp.D.T. as Professor in Dermatology and Venereology, Faculty of Medicine UI. She was inaugurated after delivering a scientific oration entitled “Multi-stakeholder Engagement in Leprosy Governance in Indonesia in Achieving Zero Leprosy 2030: The Role and Contribution of Medical Education”.

Prof. Sri said that Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of diseases that occur in tropical and subtropical areas. Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) report, there are 20 types of diseases classified as NTD, eight of which are in Indonesia. Skin-related NTD are leprosy and yaws. Prof. Sri revealed that Indonesia has the third-highest number of leprosy cases in the world. In 2022, the number of cases will be 15,052 with 12,095 new cases.

Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease of the skin and peripheral nerves that has existed since 600 years BC. However, the cause of leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae), was only discovered 151 years ago. In 1982, WHO recommended a combination of the drugs Rifampicin, Dapsone, and Clofazimine as multidrug therapy for the treatment of leprosy. Even though the cause of leprosy is known and the cure is available, leprosy has not been demolished until now.

Coinciding with World’s NTDs Day on January 28, Prof. Sri raised the topic of leprosy as one of the NTDs, which is a public health problem in the world, including Indonesia. In line with the theme of Leprosy Day 2024 launched by WHO, namely “Beat Leprosy: Ending Stigma, Embracing Dignity”, Indonesia has set a target of zero leprosy by 2030. In 2023, the Indonesian Ministry of Health reported that seven provinces in Indonesia have not achieved leprosy elimination, namely North Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, Gorontalo, North Maluku, Maluku, West Papua, and Papua.

“There are quite a lot of obstacles in achieving elimination, one of which is the stigma of leprosy, both self-stigma and social stigma. Stigma and discrimination against leprosy cause people with leprosy not to have the opportunity to study, be unable to work or get a job, and receive treatment late, resulting in disabilities and disability. “This puts them in financial problems, so they can’t afford to go to health services, and the infection continues,” said Prof. Sri.

To resolve these problems, well-coordinated joint work is required. In the National Action Plan for Leprosy Elimination 2023-2027, four main strategies have been prepared to achieve elimination: mobilizing the community, increasing service system capacity, improving integration and coordination, and strengthening commitment, policy, and program management.

According to Prof. Sri, efforts to reduce stigma by socialization should be carried out early because it will provide more pervasive retention for a long time. In 2023, Prof. Sri provided education to students at SDK 1.2 Waimahu Latuhalat Ambon, Maluku with the Social Dermatology Study Group (PERDOSKI) and KATAMATAKU. Prof. Sri and KATAMATAKU won the award for Research and Innovation at UI “Best Community Service and Empowerment Program” category.

Prof. Sri emphasized that dealing with leprosy is very complex and cannot be solved by the health sector alone. Efforts need to be made by the government, profession, and society. Prof. Sri said leprosy is a good example of applying soft skills such as empathy and effective communication in the medical field.

Before conducting a study on leprosy, Prof. Sri had done similar research. Some of them are Burnout and Coping Strategies Among Resident Physicians at an Indonesian Tertiary Referral Hospital During COVID-19 Pandemic (2023); Functional Activity Limitation of Leprosy Cases in an Endemic Area in Indonesia and Recommendations For Integrated Participation Program in Society (2022); and Efficacy of Gabapentinoids for Acute Herpes Zoster in Preventing Postherpetic Neuralgia: a Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials (2022).

Prof. Dr. dr. Sri Linuwih Susetyo Wardhani Menaldi, Sp.D.V.E., Subsp.D.T. completed his medical education in 1981 and the Dermatology and Venereology Specialist Education Program in 1992 at UI; obtained the title of Tropical Dermatology Consultant from the Indonesian College of Skin and Venereology Health Sciences in 2008; and completed the Doctoral Program in Medical Education from the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing, Gadjah Mada University in 2013. In 2023, Prof. Sri received the Inspirational Figure Award with Dedication and Commitment to Combating Leprosy and Reducing Stigma for People Who Have Suffered from Leprosy in Indonesia at the 2023 NLR Awards from the NLR Indonesia Foundation.

Prof. Sri’s inauguration procession was also attended by the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Indonesian Doctors Association, Dr. dr. M. Adib Khumaidi, Sp.OT; Deputy Chairman of the DPR RI, Dr. (H.C.) H. Rachmad Gobel; Board of Trustees of the Indonesian NLR Foundation, dr. I Nyoman Kandun, MPH; Head of the National Counterterrorism Agency for the 2020–2023 period; Commissioner General. Pol. (Ret.) Dr. Boy Rafli Amar, M.H. Datuk Rangkayo Basa; Professor of FK Gajah Mada University, Prof. Dr. dr. Hardyanto Soebono, Sp.D.V.E.(K); Professor at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Surabaya, Prof. Dr. Jatie K. Pudjibudojo; UI Chancellor for the 2002-2007 Period, Prof. Dr. Usman Chatib Warsa, SpMK, Ph.D.; and Chancellor of UI for the 2014–2019 period, Prof. Dr. Ir. Muhammad Anis, M. Met.

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