Jakarta – Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that the burden of health costs due to air pollution borne by the Social Security Administration for Health (BPJS) will reach Rp 10 trillion (USD 656.5 million) in 2022, up from Rp 8 trillion (USD 525.2 million) last year. The health costs include financing for six major respiratory diseases: pneumonia, upper respiratory tract infection (URI), asthma, tuberculosis, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“One of the most dominant causes (of respiratory diseases) is air pollution, between 24-34 per cent of the three main diseases, namely pneumonia, then URI, and asthma,” Sadikin said after attending a limited meeting discussing air quality improvement in the Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang, Bekasi (Greater Jakarta) area, chaired by President Joko Widodo, at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Monday, 28 August.
Sadikin said that the President asked his office and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) to adjust the latest air quality standards that have been tightened by the WHO.
According to him, the World Health Organisation (WHO) provides guidelines for monitoring five components in the air. The five components consist of three gaseous components namely nitrogen, carbon, and sulphur and two particulate matter components namely PM 10 and PM 2.5.
Sadikin added that to reduce the risks and health impacts of air pollution, the Ministry of Health will educate the public about the dangers of air pollution to health. He encourages the use of masks as a preventive measure if air pollution is monitored to be high based on established standards.
“The mask must be KF 94 or KN 95 minimum, which has a density to withstand particulate matters 2.5 because the danger is that the 2.5 can enter the lungs,” he said. (Hartatik)
Banner photo: Tzido Sun/shutterstock.com