Leprosy Elimination Campaign, FK UB Lecturer Provides Education Through Comic

Indonesia is the third country with the highest number of leprosy cases in the world. Nationally, Indonesia has achieved the elimination of leprosy cases in 2010. The elimination in question is the number of leprosy cases of less than 1 per 10,000 population. However, research conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2022 states that there are still 6 provinces that have not achieved elimination.

Collaboration between campuses through KATAMATAKU in Ambon

Several provinces that have not achieved elimination are Minahasa, Gorontalo, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua and West Papua, where Maluku Province still has 2.8 cases per 10,000 population. Against this background, a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Brawijaya collaborated with several other universities in Indonesia in an effort to reduce the stigma of leprosy cases in Ambon, Maluku. The team consisting of Dr. dr. Dhelya Widasmara, Sp. KK(K). FINSDV, FAADV, Dr. dr. Ni Wayan Eka Ciptasari, Sp.KK. FISNDV, dr. Marina Ramadani, Sp.KK., dr. M. Ayyub Arachman, M.Ked.Klin., Sp.DV and dr. Rully Setia Agus Dimawan, Sp.KK. FINSDV, FAADV is in Ambon within the framework of the Health Program for Leprosy Patients in Maluku, a collaboration between the Indonesian Social Dermatology Study Group and KATAMATAKU, University of Indonesia.

“We are trying to educate them to get rid of the stigma of being used to it from childhood so that they understand and are aware of the knowledge about leprosy. The choice of Latuhalat Village as the destination is because in this area there are still many cases of leprosy with a huge stigma problem,” said Dr. dr. Dhelya Widasmara, Sp. KK. FINSDV, FAADV.

The stigma of leprosy, added the woman who is affectionately called Lala, is one of the factors that has not yet been eliminated in Indonesia. “Even though efforts to reduce stigma have been carried out for a long time, they have not yielded satisfactory results,” he said.

Form of team education assigned by Dr. Dr. M. Yulianto Listiawan Sp. KK. FINSDV, FAADV., as Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Dermatologists and Venereologists, is to provide education to school students. “Starting with elementary school students, with educational media in the form of the Little Doctor’s Flower and Sky comic volume 1, the theme of which is education about leprosy and the impact of its stigma on sufferers. In addition, there is also a social service held at Patimura University,” said Lala.

Education through the comic series Bunga and Langit

“I tried to distribute interesting and illustrated comics to elementary school-age children there, after we gave them the opportunity to read and understand what leprosy is?, then I tried to interview around 10 children in the class. It’s extraordinary that the idea of sharing the comics that we do gets good feedback where they can understand, know and explain that it turns out that this disease is around where they live, “she said.

Through this collaboration, it is expected to reduce the stigma of leprosy in society. “In addition, this program can also help the leprosy control program carried out by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia,” concluded the lecturer and Chair of the Indonesian Social Dermatology Study Group. (anang/VQ/ Humas UB/ Trans. Iir)