Sugar and the Threat for Health

Kompas has reported its series of investigations showing that the current national consumption of sugar is so excessive that it is considered dangerous. As a result, the number of diabetics has increased, and the cost of treatment has also increased. Data from BPJS Kesehatan, wrote Kompas, shows that over the last five years (2018-2022), the total cost of claims for patients participating in BPJS Kesehatan who are diagnosed with diabetes has continued to increase. In 2018, diabetes patients needed a total cost of IDR 4.9 trillion from BPJS funding, and in 2022 this figure will increase to IDR 6.4 trillion. Wihout realizing it, excessive sugar consumption, which has become a long-standing habit, poses a hidden danger. Day by day, our society consumes increasingly higher amounts of sugar while simultaneously engaging in less physical activity. This excessive calorie intake, particularly from sugar, combined with a lack of physical exercise, contributes to obesity and various inherited diseases like diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and heart disease.

Gula dan Ancaman Kesehatan Nasional

Indonesia peringkat ke-5 negara dengan populasi penderita diabetes terbesar di dunia. Harus ada strategi untuk mengurangi konsumsi gula pada berbagai masakan dan minuman, baik yang diolah sendiri maupun produk industri.   Belum lama ini, Kompas menurunkan serial laporan investigasi yang menunjukkan betapa konsumsi gula nasional sudah membahayakan karena sangat berlebihan. Akibatnya, jumlah penderita diabetes meningkat, biaya perawatan dan pengobatannya juga ikut melonjak. Merujuk data BPJS Kesehatan, Kompas menulis, selama lima tahun terakhir (2018-2022), total biaya klaim pasien peserta BPJS Kesehatan yang terdiagnosis diabetes terus meningkat. Pada 2018, pasien diabetes menyerap total biaya Rp 4,9 triliun dari kas BPJS dan pada 2022 angkanya meningkat menjadi Rp 6,4 triliun.

Digitalization. A Transformation in Health System

"Digitizing the health system is an effort to accelerate equity and reduce disparities in health services. However, digitalization needs to be accompanied by a reliable internet connection, digital literacy, and personal data security." After proposing the idea of BPJS for affluent individuals at the end of last year, The Health Minister of Indonesia, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, has recently made a surprising move. Since March 1, 2023, the popular PeduliLindungi application used during the Covid-19 pandemic is now integrated into the Satu Sehat platform as of March 1, 2023. This integration was previously prepared by the Ministry of Health. The integration of these two applications is intended to enhance Indonesia's health resilience among millennials. The Satu Sehat platform links different applications relevant to healthcare, including government and private hospitals, health centers, posyandu, laboratories, clinics, and pharmacies.

Eid Blessing and Social Change

Soon, the holy month of Ramadan will come to an end, and Eid al-Fitr will be welcomed. Having observed the month-long fast and other religious activities, one might wonder how to measure their success. The answer lies in fulfilling the obligations of fasting for the entire month, except for those who are sick or unable to fast, and continuing with other mandatory worship, such as daily prayers, sunnah worship such as Tarawih, and paying zakat. This measure of success is based on the framework of fiqh, or the Islamic law. Adhering to all the obligations and striving to fulfill the suggested acts is the foundation of the religion, including fasting during the month of Ramadan. However, this answer does not consider the social or muamalah aspect of fasting. Simply abstaining from food and drink from dawn to dusk does not make a fast complete or of good quality. The fast itself may be valid, not invalidated, but of very minimal quality, only passing a passing grade.

Ramadan Fasting and Evidence Based Medicine

In fiqh or Islamic law, fasting during the month of Ramadan is an obligation for Muslims as it is stated in Surah Al-Baqarah verse 183, which was revealed over 1400 years ago in the second year of Hijriah. Thus, for 14 centuries Muslims have carried out the obligation to fast in Ramadan. However, fasting as a culture is much older than Islam itself. Several highly civilized ancient nations, such as the Romans, Egyptians or Chinese, had the habit of fasting for various purposes, including as a form of cultural ritual or belief. During the 20th century,  medical and health scientists conducted numerous studies that demonstrated the health benefits of fasting.  These medical studies contributed to the development of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM).