Written by Dinar Faiza (edited)
The Indonesian Thalassemia Foundation of Banyumas and the Banyumas District Government organised and launched, from November 1 to November 30, 2019, a massive pilot project of Thalassaemia Prevention Movement 2019, called ”Thalassaemia Month of Banyumas”. Its theme was entitled “Banyumas Goes To Zero Growth of Thalassemia in 2023”.
The project included the socialization, education, and promotion of screening for all Banyumas regions. Its goal was to increase public awareness about thalasssemia, so that people can get blood screening before marriage. The project received a lot of support and help from many partners, mainly from the Thalassemia Foundation of Indonesia and the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry of Jenderal Soedirman University. It was also supported by Prodia Laboratory, RSUD Banyumas (Regional Public Hospital of Banyumas), PMI Banyumas (Indonesia Red Cross of Banyumas), Rotary and also various sponsors.
Thalassaemia is a highly prevalent genetic blood disorder in Indonesia. In fact, children born with thalassaemia in Indonesia in 2019 have reached 9,000. The disease is spread over various regions of the country. The highest percentage was in West Java, the second one in Central Java, followed by DKI Jakarta and other regions. Banyumas is one of the regions in Central Java Province which contributes to a fairly large thalassaemia prevalence rate.
The therapy of thalassaemia, such as routine transfusions and iron chelation in Indonesia, including Banyumas, have been covered by BPJS, national health insurance system. However thalassaemia has spent a large amount of BPJS funds. The number of patients might be ”small”, but it is also costly. BPJS claims for thalassaemia have increased significantly from 7th rank to 5th and even now it is ranked 4th nationally. No wonder there has been an issue that severe disorders such as thalassaemia will be stopped to get covered by BPJS.The ”Thalassaemia Month of Banyumas” events