Last year marked a major milestone for Indonesia with more than half of districts officially declared malaria free, according to an article recently published in The Lancet.
Seventy-two percent of the country’s population now live in areas free from malaria transmission – and with 25 different species of malaria-receptive mosquitoes, a large dispersed population, and a high level of internal migration, this is a particularly impressive accomplishment.
In the decade since 2007, Indonesia’s annual incidence has fallen from 2.89 per 1000 to 0.9 per 1000 population, with the total number of confirmed cases falling by 50% and the number of deaths falling by 66%.
The milestone comes following an increase in malaria control efforts, including improvements in reporting and surveillance, the extension of control efforts to sparsely populated and remote areas of eastern Indonesia with high transmission, and the distribution of 20 million long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets.
However, malaria elimination is not the only area in which Indonesia is making strides. In 2012, Indonesia announced the goal of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) for all citizens by 2019 through enrolment of the population under the national health insurance scheme (JKN) – one of the largest national health insurance systems in the world.
Efforts made in Indonesia between 1990 and 2016 have resulted in an increase of life expectancy of eight years. That said, further work is needed to identify successful interventions and improve health equity to maintain and increase health gains.
For more information on Indonesia’s progress to universal health coverage status, click here.
Photo by @Flickr_Patrik M. Loeff