November 21, 2022 (Jakarta, Indonesia)—Heart attacks and strokes kill more Indonesians than any other cause, and in 2019 cardiovascular disease accounted for 38% of all deaths. Almost half of those who died were people under 70 years of age and in the prime of their lives. Many of these deaths could have been prevented with simple, proven strategies to eliminate artificial trans fat from the food supply and reduce high blood pressure (also known as hypertension).
Today, officials from the Indonesian Ministry of Health’s non-communicable disease division, the World Health Organization, the Association of Indonesia Local Health Offices (ADINKES), and Resolve to Save Lives, a global public health organization, convened for the first time for a roundtable discussion on interventions to improve heart health in Indonesia, including advancing a best-practice policy to eliminate artificial trans fat from the food supply and strengthening hypertension services in primary care.
“The government makes various efforts and strategies in controlling GGL including aspects of regulation, food reformulation, tax/excise determination, study/research, and education; However, people need to realize the importance of limiting the consumption of salt sugar fat” said Dr. Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, DHSM, MARS, General Director at Indonesia’s Ministry of Health.
“Heart disease and stroke have been a top cause of death in Indonesia, and the burden has only grown in recent years. Indonesia needs to work with partners to prevent unnecessary cardiovascular deaths here. Combined experience from partner will help us to save lives and improve life expectancy in our country” said Dr. Mohamad Subuh, MPPM, Chairman of the Association of Indonesia Local Health Offices. “Addressing top risk factors such as diet and blood pressure will reduce preventable deaths and help Indonesians live longer, healthier lives.”
“We can’t make progress on our global goals to prevent deaths from heart disease – the world’s leading killer – unless we act now,” said Dr. Renu Garg, Senior Vice President for Cardiovascular Health at Resolve to Save Lives. “We are impressed by Indonesia’s commitment to improving cardiovascular health and look forward to collaborating on lifesaving, evidence-based strategies.”
Trans fat elimination
Commonly found in packaged foods, baked goods, cooking oils and spreads, artificial trans fat is a harmful food additive linked to increased risk of heart attack and death. Eliminating artificial trans-fat from the global food supply could save 17.5 million lives over the next 25 years.
Best-practice trans fat elimination policies require manufacturers to replace the harmful compound with healthier alternatives, which can be done without changing the taste or cost of food. To date, 49 countries around the world – covering 3.1 billion people – have adopted such life-saving policies, including Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore.
Indonesia’s food labeling regulations requiring the declaration of trans fat content on all foods make it well-positioned to adopt and implement a best practice trans fat regulation, removing this harmful substance from the food supply.
Controlling high blood pressure
High blood pressure can cause heart attacks, strokes and other health problems, but it can be controlled with daily medication and lifestyle changes. Approximately 40% of adults in Indonesia have hypertension, but only 19% of people with hypertension are receiving treatment and only 4% have their blood pressure under control.
Implementing a national hypertension control program that includes a standard hypertension treatment protocol, and monitoring results with an information system such as the Simple app, can streamline patient care and improve blood pressure control rates nationwide.
Resolve to Save Lives has provided technical support to many countries – including Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh – to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease. By expanding Indonesia’s hypertension control and trans fat elimination initiatives, many lives could be saved.
About Resolve to Save Lives
Resolve to Save Lives is a not-for-profit organization partnering with countries, communities and organizations to prevent 100 million deaths from cardiovascular disease and make the world safer from epidemics. To find out more, visit: https://www.resolvetosavelives.org or Twitter @ResolveTSL
About the Association of Indonesia Local Health Authorities (ADINKES)
Association of Indonesia Local Health Offices (ADINKES) formed to facilitate collaboration between local health offices in Indonesia. Its mission includes improving communications among members, government, the private sector, and communities in implementing health development, and supporting the government in the development of public health, individual, and community empowerment efforts.
Halik Sidik (Media contact, ADINKES)
(+62) 811 494 628
Inquiries, [email protected]
Steven Chlapecka, Senior Media Strategist, Resolve to Save Lives, [email protected], +1.917.623.0246.
General press inquiries, [email protected]