The donation supported by the Governments of Australia and the United States of America through WHO helps COVID-19 patients to access COVID-19 therapeutics
Jakarta, 13 April 2023 – The Ministry of Health has received a shipment of the oral antiviral medicine nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (PAXLOVID™) funded by the Governments of Australia and the United States of America through WHO for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The donation was symbolically handed over by WHO Representative to Indonesia, Dr N. Paranietharan, to the Indonesian Minister of Health Budi G. Sadikin today, 13 April 2023, at the Ministry of Health. The handover ceremony was attended by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance, as well as representatives of the Australian Embassy and the United States of America Embassy.
COVID-19 remains a global public health threat. Experts have indicated that the virus will most likely remain a permanently established pathogen in humans and animals for the foreseeable future. The latest WHO guidelines on COVID-19 therapeutics recommend the use of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir for COVID-19 patients to help prevent the disease from becoming severe. Through the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator initiative, WHO and global partners ensure fair and equitable access to these life-saving medicines, which were until recently only accessible to high-income countries because of cost and availability. Dr N Paranietharan emphasized that these drugs are important to prevent the progression to severe disease, particularly for patients at high risk, such as elderly patients or those that present with comorbidities.
Minister of Health Budi G. Sadikin appreciated the PAXLOVID™ donation for the Government of Indonesia to support COVID-19 treatment. Cooperation with partners will be continued to ensure access to COVID-19 medication across Indonesia.
“We must have medication available in the nation. Therefore, someone who contract the disease can immediately come to the nearest health facility and access the necessary therapeutic,” said the Minister of Health, Budi G. Sadikin.
The shipment containing more than 24,000 treatment courses arrived last week in Indonesia. The total funding amounting to USD 2.1 million for these allocations was made possible thanks to the contribution of the Governments of Australia and the United States to Indonesia’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts.
“Australia and Indonesia have a history of supporting each other in challenging times, and we have a shared commitment to combatting COVID-19 together. This latest delivery of antiviral medications, which will soon be distributed to hospitals and health centres across Indonesia, are an additional valuable tool to combat COVID-19 and further protect our communities,” said Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Penny Williams PSM.
“This cooperation reaffirms our continued commitment to support Indonesia’s response to COVID-19 and to strengthen the health system in the country to detect, prevent and respond to infectious disease threats. Global cooperation and solidarity are the way to defeat the virus and start a sustainable global recovery,” said U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, Sung Y. Kim.
By providing equitable access to treatments like PAXLOVID™, promoting vaccinations, and strengthening healthcare systems, we can build a healthier and more resilient future. United efforts against COVID-19 and future health challenges are essential to uphold the principle of health for all.