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Health Researcher, Center for Biomedical and Pharmacetical Research and
Development, National Heath Research and Development,
Ministry of Health, Rep. of Indonesia
National report on Basic Health Research 2007 discovered that the prevalence of smoking among Indonesian population aged 10 years or older is 24 % (male 45.8 % and woman 3 %). Among those Indonesian smokers, 9.6 % have started smoking since 10-14 years and 36.3 % started smoking since 15-19 years. The role and responsibility of Indonesian Government in smoking epidemic control is so far very weak. The budget for tobacco control activities, including for public heath education on harmful effect of tobacco smoking, in Ministry of Health was very small. This paper reported the author’s experience in developing quit smoking campaign videos for Indonesian through internet. Year 2005, the author started to make Indonesian quit smoking campaign videos, which was the Indonesian version of Australian Quit Smoking campaign videos. By 22nd of February 2009, one by one, the author uploaded into ’youtube’ website under the name ofhttp://www.youtube.com/MUSAUP2009. Totally, there were 13 short public health education video films in that URL. In order to make that films spreading in the Indonesian community, the author asked relatives and friends to help to forward the URL of MUSAUP2009 to their relatives and friends too. From February 15, 2009 to March 9, 2010, there were 13,776 viewer who viewed MUSAUP2009 videos. MUSAUP2009 videos should be developed further through Indonesian key televisions in order to make public education on tobacco or health more accessible for the poor and less educated Indonesian who live in the big cities or isolated areas.
While trends of tobacco use have decreased in developed countries the opposite situation is happened in Indonesia. According to Global Youth Tobacco Surveys (GYTS) year 2006, about 34 % (range 24% - 41%) of male school students aged 13-15 years in Indonesia are smokers2. National report on Basic Health Research 2007 discovered that the prevalence of smoking among Indonesian population aged 10 years or older is 24 % (male 45.8 % and woman 3 %). Among those Indonesian smokers, 9.6 % have started smoking since 10-14 years and 36.3 % started smoking since 15-19 years3.
The role and responsibility of Indonesian Government in smoking epidemic control is so far very weak. For example, last 23rd of May 2009, Freddy Tulung (Director General of Communication and Information Dissemination, Ministry of Communication and Information, Republic of Indonesia) totally refused the request of Indonesian National Commission for Child Protection to ban tobacco advertising in Indonesian broadcasting media4. And last 10th of September, Mohammad Mahmud MD (Chairman of Indonesian Constitutional Court) refused the same request by National Commission on Child Protection5.
The comparison between the amount of tobacco tax or excise tax received by the Indonesian Government and the Ministry of Health budget for public education on tobacco or health can further explain how low is the responsibility of Indonesian Government in smoking epidemic prevention and control. The Indonesian Government received about 43 trillion rupiah (4.432.989.690 US $) in the year 20086. But the budget of Ministry of Indonesia for tobacco control activities –including for quit smoking campaign- in the same year was only about 500 million rupiah (68.000 US $)7. While tobacco advertising and promotion are not banned in Indonesia, and billion rupiah are spent by tobacco industries to develop unhealthy promotion, only about 0,001% from the Indonesian total tobacco tax (excise tax) that is dedicated for tobacco control activities. This is much lower than what have been suggested by WHO FCTC (5 – 10 % of tobacco tax or excise tax).
Center for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research and Development, National Institute of Health Research and Development, Ministry of Health, Republic of Indonesia, the author have focused interest into tobacco control research. By that days the author searched and developed materials and methods for public health education on harmful effects of tobacco smoking by adapting and modifying foreign materials and methods into it’s Indonesian version. Last November 20 - December 2 year 2000, the author was invited by Key Center for Women’s Health in Society (KCWH), WHO Collaborating Center for Women’s Health, the University of Melbourne, for a ”Short Course in Tobacco Control and Gender”. There, the lecturer of KCWH showed and gave the author a series of Australian Quit Smoking Campaign Television Commercials.
Since the year 2001, the author proposed research proposals to author’s office in order to make Indonesian version of Australian Quit Smoking Campaign television commercials. But years by years the author did not find financial support for such a research. The author have also tried to apply research proposals to WHO Kobe Japan, Development Marketplace of World Bank, Bloomberg Grant for Smoking control in Developing Countries, but so far it was not successful to win their financial supports. The author latest attempt to seek financial support was done in 2008 where the author tried to seek support from AIGRP (Australia Indonesia Governance Research Partnership). The author proposed that AIGRP financially support the making of high quality Indonesian Public Health Education on Harmful effects of tobacco smoking video films and it’s daily display in ten Indonesian key television for at least three months. But again, it was failed.
Boring to face continuous rejections to the author’s research proposals, in the year 2005, the author started to make Indonesian quit smoking campaign videos. This work of the author tried to answer question on what can a health researcher in Indonesia can do to overcome such an obstacle in developing public education on tobacco or health in such a moral and financial circumstances? This paper will report the author’s experience in developing quit smoking campaign videos for Indonesian through internet.
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