Jakarta. The Indonesian government has somehow identified intestinal worms as among the most dire of health threats facing the country’s children, launching a national campaign on Thursday to tackle the problem.
Vensya Sitohang, the Health Ministry’s director of animal-borne diseases, said 28 percent of Indonesian children suffered from intestinal worm infection, triggered mostly by poor hygiene and an unclean environment.
“Everyone must create a healthy environment to live in and adopt healthy habits. In order to do so, the Health Ministry must keep promoting a healthy lifestyle and clean sanitation,” she said.
A representative from Johnson & Johnson, which markets a range of anti-worm medicines in the country, said at Thursday’s event that the company was “committed to creating a healthy, worm-free, future Indonesian generation.”
Intestinal worm infections account for 0.02 percent of deaths among the general population. Respiratory disease, diarrhea, neurological diseases – including meningitis and encephalitis – and typhoid account for the vast majority of causes of death among Indonesian children.