Ministry expands mobile X-ray service to cut TB transmission

Self Care

The Health Ministry has expanded the X-ray mobile service to intensify the tracking of active tuberculosis (TB) cases in the community as part of efforts to minimize the risk of transmission.

“Today, we have launched the X-ray mobile service. This expansion has been carried out in several places to accommodate people taking X-ray photographs without going to the hospital. We hope this can (help) identify and treat the patient quickly,” Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono said in a written statement received here on Friday.

Harbuwono informed that the expansion of mobile TB screening is targeting seven provinces, namely North Sumatra, Banten, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, and South Sulawesi.

“For this screening, we are targeting people who have direct contact with TB patients, people with HIV, and people with diabetes mellitus,” he said.

He then explained how active cases can be detected by using a mobile X-ray to conduct a chest examination to check whether a patient has indications of tuberculosis or not.

If TB is found in patients, they will need to be immediately handled by health workers for further treatment, he informed.

He said the facility has helped increase the detection of active TB cases in the community. The capacity of health workers and the readiness of health services, such as community health centers (Puskesmas) and hospitals, to carry out diagnosis, treatment, and prevention are necessary to help patients complete their treatment.

The mobile X-ray service was first initiated by the Zero TB movement in Yogyakarta in collaboration with the Yogyakarta special region government to track TB cases in the local area and Kulon Progo district, which currently has a fairly high number of cases.

This health service innovation is part of an effort to accelerate TB prevalence reduction in Yogyakarta by 50 percent over the next five years.

A report from the Ministry of Health showed that the number of TB cases in Indonesia had reached 824 thousand, while the number of deaths due to TB had touched 93 thousand per year in 2020. The data placed Indonesia as the country with the third-highest cases of TB in the world after India and China.

Separately, director of infectious disease prevention and control (P2PM) at the Ministry of Health, Didik Budijanto, said the number of cases in Indonesia is equivalent to 11 deaths per hour due to TB.

Ninety-one percent of TB cases in Indonesia involve pulmonary TB, with patients having the potential to infect healthy people around them.

“One TB case has the potential to infect 15 people in the vicinity,” Budijanto informed.

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia hampered the case tracking of TB. Of the estimated 824 thousand TB patients in the country, only 49 percent have been successfully detected and treated so far.

“There are still more than 421 thousand people who have not been treated and could transmit the disease to people around them,” he added. (

Source: Antara News