Jul 31, 2023

Over 115,000 tonnes of asbestos fibre are imported into Indonesia each year, mostly to make roof sheets. As a result, Indonesia ranks in the top three countries in the world in importing this deadly substance.

Based on the amount of asbestos being processed in recent decades, the World Health Organization estimates that 1,661 people die from asbestos disease in Indonesia every year, including 1,368 lung cancer cases and 225 mesothelioma cases. Yet, according to health system statistics, there have been no asbestos deaths and just six asbestos compensation claims.

Participants in the 3-day training at Binawan University, Jakarta, Indonesia

This lack of diagnosis is a tragedy for those suffering from asbestos disease.

A pilot training was conducted in June by the Sydney-based Asbestos and Dust Diseases Research Institute (ADDRI), the Australian Government’s Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA), Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, Local Initiatives For Occupational Health (LION) and Binawan University. This first-of-its-kind project was aimed at building the capacity of medical practitioners to diagnose asbestos-related diseases and educate students and staff.

The three-day intensive clinical training succeeded in bringing together 164 students and health specialists from across Indonesia on the opening day and 51 doctors and other specialists on days two and three. The focus on the diagnosis of asbestos-related diseases attracted a core group of health professionals who have been introduced to the topic via training sessions led by both ADDRI specialists and local researchers. Included in the training were specialists in oncology, pathology, radiology, specialist nursing, epidemiology and public health. The training is the first step in a relationship of support and collaboration between ADDRI and the medical specialists in Indonesia to improve the diagnosis of asbestos-related diseases in Indonesia, with the support of APHEDA and local Indonesian partner organisation LION.


This project is supported by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency and the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).





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