Jakarta (ANTARA) - National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Head, Lieutenant General Suharyanto, expressed his side's readiness, if appointed, to handle the rabies emergency due to their experience as a task force in handling the Foot and Mouth Disease.
"BNPB already had experience in dealing with animal diseases, such as the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), in livestock. At that time, we worked along with the Agriculture Ministry, and we formed a task force," he noted in a statement on Wednesday.
Suharyanto, who served as chair of the FMD Handling Task Force, shed light on the history of the task force formation during a meeting chaired by Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, on Tuesday.
"The FMD outbreak spread in June 2022. The BNPB was appointed to handle it, and we issued a status of certain conditions. This was important to match the ready-to-use funds with the regulation," he explained.
According to Effendy, the BNPB has ready-to-use funding to help ministries in dealing with rabies in Indonesia.
At the meeting, Minister Effendy remarked that the government had decided that BNPB should determine the status of certain conditions.
As a result of the meeting, BNPB must immediately determine the status of disaster mitigation in certain circumstances as the basis for handling extraordinary events and rabies emergencies in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province, he remarked.
"BNPB must immediately form an integrated emergency handling task force based on the request of the NTT governor. BNPB can also use their ready-to-use funds to support the Task Force's operations, including adding vaccines and equipment needed for rabies vaccination," he noted.
The rabies outbreak, originating from dog bites in NTT Province, has forced the central government to take emergency steps to deal with the disease.
Referring to data from the NTT Provincial Health Service on November 15, 2023, some 1,823 cases of animal bites were reported in the districts of South Timor Tengah and North Timor Tengah, with 11 fatalities.