The Importance of Optimizing Prevention and Services for Non-Communicable Diseases During a Pandemic

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Multidisciplinary experts from 6 Southeast Asian countries namely Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore have called for urgent and effective action to optimize control non-communicable disease (PTM) in Southeast Asia. This condition is increasingly important in the times pandemic as it is now. The list of recommendations compiled and published in the Risk Management and Healthcare Policy journal entitled ‘Moving Towards Optimized Non-communicable Disease Management in the ASEAN Region: Recommendations from a Review and Multidisciplinary Expert Panel’ seeks to address gaps in policy. In addition, it is also necessary to improve clinical practice and public health. The journal tries to answer the issue of PTM control through several recommendations, such as implementing integrated solutions, multisectoral public-private partnerships, and ‘whole-of-government’ and ‘whole-of-society’ approaches. of-society).

Non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory, diabetes, and mental disorders, have resulted in more than 70 percent of deaths in the world. This has created enormous financial and social burdens in various areas. In Indonesia, the incidence of heart and blood vessel disease is increasing from year to year. In 2016, it was reported that the death rate in Indonesia was 1,863,000, of which 35 percent was caused by cardiovascular disease. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not impossible that this condition can get worse. Therefore, apart from implementing the COVID-19 health protocol, it is also important to pay attention to efforts to optimize prevention and treatment services for PTM.

Advisory Board & Ethics Council of the Association of Indonesian Cardiovascular Specialists (PERKI) and one of the authors in the journal Risk Management and Healthcare Policy Anwar Santoso said that although there are many effective treatments, PTM, such as cardiovascular disease, continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide. This is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted efforts to prevent and treat PTM treatment services in various countries, including Indonesia. “There needs to be an effort to continue providing essential health services and increasing public awareness of the prevention of PTM, especially cardiovascular disease,” he said in a webinar on October 17, 2020.

Anwar added that the Journal of Risk Management and Healthcare Policy recommends implementing comprehensive screening methods and integrating health services in preventing PTM. Therefore, implementing policies, handling gaps in clinical practice, and community empowerment must be prioritized. “In addition, the involvement of patients, families and surrounding communities also plays an important role in achieving the continuity and success of PTM care,” said Anwar.

Health systems around the world face challenges in the form of an increasing need for health services for people with PTM and are exacerbated by the presence of COVID-19. This can have negative effects due to limited access – such as delayed diagnosis which results in an increased stage of the disease, disruption of the therapy process, and increased behavioral risk factors such as physical inactivity.

Secretary General of the Association of Indonesian Hospitals (PERSI) Lia G. Partakusuma said that along with the COVID-19 pandemic, health services were also affected, making PTM, especially cardiovascular disease, one of the biggest health threats to society in the long term. This condition is exacerbated by the limited space for the community to obtain health services. However, various health facilities in Indonesia have made various efforts to maintain the continuity of their services, especially for PTM patients.

One of the efforts to ensure PTM patient service continues amid the pandemic is by utilizing telehealth technology that allows long distance consultation between patient and doctor online. This activity opens access for patients from all regions in Indonesia to continue their treatment program without having to come to the hospital. “With advances in information technology, patients can still communicate directly with their doctors, and get treatment directions according to the patient’s needs and conditions. However, if there are severe symptoms, then of course the patient is required to immediately get help to the nearest health service facility by implementing the COVID-19 health protocol. , “Said Lia.

Pandemics have also created ‘infodemics’, where information circulating is often too overwhelming and confusing, which can lead to stigma, misinformation and physical and mental health hazards. For this reason, Pfizer collaborates with the American College of Cardiology (ACC) to present the NCD Academy as a free digital platform designed to provide the latest information related to PTM and optimize the ability of health professionals in providing PTM treatment services.

General Manager of Upjohn Division, Pfizer Indonesia Satria Surjati said at Upjohn Division, everything we do always prioritizes patients and their needs to maintain their changing health. The Upjohn Division initiative, in collaboration with various parties through the NCD Academy program, is a solution for patients, especially PTM patients. NCD Academy is an interactive and easy-to-use web-based platform designed to provide education for health professionals, such as general practitioners, internists, nurses, and others, so that they are able to better perform PTM prevention and treatment services. “NCD Academy also ensures that this online platform is equipped with adequate education for health professionals,” said Satria.

The NCD Academy, which was formed on the basis of the Global Prevention Programs and launched by Pfizer and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) together with the NCD Alliance in 2016, has now organized 44 online seminars (6 of which have been conducted in Indonesia). The NCD Academy also provides science, technology, resources, and educational materials or modules to more than 70 thousand doctors in 9 countries to tackle cardiovascular disease and strengthen best practices in caring for patients. This program has reached 230 million patients in China, Russia, Argentina, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. “At Upjohn Division, we believe that it is very important to take an integrated approach by developing partnerships that do not only focus on drugs, so as to improve the prevention and treatment of PTM,” said Satria Surjati.

Through the NCD Academy, health professionals can access a series of free online continuous medical education programs designed to increase clinical knowledge, as well as get clinical recommendations based on the latest journals to prevent PTM. This program will assist physicians and global health authorities in developing strategies to mitigate data-based PTM which in turn can help improve patient clinical outcomes.

Deputy Secretary General II of PERKI Ade Meidian Ambari said that the success of PTM control efforts can be achieved if there is good cooperation between all stakeholders, including health professionals. “The presence of the NCD Academy is expected to open access for health professionals to renew and improve their ability to handle PTM patients at all levels of health services in Indonesia,” said Ade.

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