Jakarta. Indonesia hosted a short visit by Dr. Victor Dzau, president of the United States National Academy of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences, to promote greater global engagement and exchange in medicine and health care on Thursday (31/05).
While in Jakarta, Dzau held discussions with Health Minister Nila Moeloek and her deputies; Technology, Research, and Higher Education Minister H. Mohamad Nasir; and National Health Insurance Agency (BPJS) president director Fachmi Idris.
Dzau noted that life expectancy has almost doubled in the last 100 years. Hence the issue today is no longer longevity, but the number of healthy years in one's life.
The world needs a healthy population to support a growing global aging community. He also noted that Indonesia's aging population will soon amount to 40 million people. As such, there must be a greater level of intensity in dialogue and programs that address the issue. Minister Nila has started putting in place initiatives such as an aging blueprint and concrete policies.
The health minister and Dzau agreed that community involvement and advanced medical technology can provide important support in creating a healthy and productive aging population in many countries.
Dzau also welcomed the prospect of joint exploratory research by the National Academy of Medicine and a consortium of top Indonesian universities on genomics, bioengineering and advanced molecular biology. The offer to collaborate is in line with a major push by the Ministry of Technology, Research and Higher Education in advancing scientific, technological, engineering and medical research in the country.
This development also underlines the importance of internationalizing the research done by Indonesia’s top universities.
The discussion with BPJS President Director Fachmi Idris highlighted the possibility of the United States and Indonesia exchanging experiences, ideas, and best practices, in developing universal healthcare coverage. The goal would be to not only accommodate everyone’s needs efficiently, but also ensure the program’s sustainability and ability to address the needs of an aging population.
While in Jakarta, Dzau also paid a visit to Pelita Harapan University (UPH) and met with Founder & Chairman, Dr. James Riady, and attended its Teachers’ College Graduation ceremony.
Dzau is one of the world's preeminent health leaders. He has made significant contributions to the world of medicine, particularly through his seminal research in cardiovascular medicine and genetics. His work on the renin angiotensin system (RAS) paved the way for the contemporary understanding of the RAS in cardiovascular diseases and the development of RAS inhibitors now widely used in lifesaving drugs.
His recent work on paracrine mechanisms in stem cells and the use of microRNA in direct reprogramming provides novel insight into stem-cell biology and regenerative medicine. Dzau has received numerous awards and accolades for his work from several prestigious institutions around the world, including eight honorary doctorates.
Dr. Victor Dzau is a recipient of: the Gustav Nylin Medal from the Swedish Royal College of Medicine, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Henry Freisen International Prize, amongst many other accolades.
He is the eighth president of the National Academy of Medicine and held various other notable positions and offices, including chancellor of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina; chairman of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts; and chairman of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University in California.
He also served on the World Economic Forum's board of health governors and chaired the WEF's Global Agenda Council on Personalized and Precision Medicine.