Jakarta (ANTARA) - Strengthening the surveillance system is essential for preventing the spread of monkeypox, a field epidemiologist from Jenderal Soedirman University (Unsoed), Dr. Yudhi Wibowo, has said. "Surveillance activities become crucial to be conducted simultaneously with education, prevention, and treatment," he stressed when contacted here on Wednesday.
He lauded the quick response of the government that has activated the surveillance system at all entry points to the country to prevent the spread of the disease. "The activation of surveillance is a very appropriate thing that indicates a quick response from the Ministry of Health," he said.
According to the Regulation of the Minister of Health Number 45 of 2014 concerning the implementation of health surveillance, surveillance comprises systematic and continuous observation of data and information on the incidence of diseases or health problems and conditions that affect the increase in cases and transmission.
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"The aim is to obtain and provide information to direct effective and efficient control and handling measures," he explained. Wibowo said that strengthening the surveillance system does not only apply to early disease awareness but can also serve as the basis for planning and decision-making for mid-term and long-term health programs.
"Therefore, it is expected that the surveillance system to anticipate monkeypox disease cover the entire implementation of the program in the health sector through continuous observation, analysis, and dissemination of information," he added.
Earlier, the Health Ministry activated the surveillance system at all entry points to Indonesia to prevent the spread of monkeypox.
Under the surveillance system, port health offices are checking the body temperature and indications of monkeypox in all travelers arriving from countries with cases of transmission of the zoonotic disease, which can be transmitted to humans as well as via human-to-human spread, director-general of disease prevention and control at the Ministry of Health, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, said. In addition, the government has prepared laboratories and health service facilities to mitigate monkeypox transmission.