This technology is very important for people’s health in the future
Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Ministry of Health has unveiled the Biomedical and Genomic Sciences Initiative (BGSi) as the first national initiative to detect potential diseases in the future.
“This technology is very important for people’s health in the future,” Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin noted in a written statement on Sunday.
“With this genome sequencing biotechnology, the ability to identify the source of disease and cure it will be more accurate and personal,” he noted.
After the unveiling of BGSi at the Eijkman Building of Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM), he noted that this program aims to develop more precise drugs for the population.
“This is done by relying on a technology that collects genetic or genomic information about humans and pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, called whole genome sequencing or WGS,” he explained.
The development of this WGS aligns with the biotechnology transformation of biomonitoring activity and health services aimed at improving pathogen detection and medication, Sadikin noted.
Previously, the WGS method was used and played an important role in mitigating COVID-19 in Indonesia, he said.
“The advantage is that we know for sure how to diagnose and treat it. For example, cough, although it has similar symptoms, the disease can be different for everyone,” he said.
“With this BGSi, we can identify their disease more quickly, so that we can treat it immediately,” he added.
Through BGSi, the WGS method will be used for drug development research in six other primary disease categories: cancer, infectious diseases, brain and neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic diseases, genetic disorders and aging.
BGSi is implemented in seven vertical hospitals: RSCM, National Brain Center Hospital (RS PON), Sulianto Saroso Hospital, Persahabatan Hospital, Dharmais Cancer Hospital, Sardjito Hospital and IGNG Ngoerah Hospital.
Currently, there are only 12 WGS machines in Indonesia. To support the implementation of BGSi, the ministry is adding 48 machines in various national reference hospitals involved in BGSi.
These machines will be complemented by high-throughput sequencing machines capable of processing hundreds of human genome samples per week.
Over the next two years, the government aims to collect and analyze 10,000 human genome sequences for data variant mapping of the Indonesian population with priority diseases that have been previously established.
In this regard, the Coordinating Minister of Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendi, hailed the unveiling of BGSi.
“We expect the futuristic initiative to accelerate the human development index,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, offered his encouragement, so that this good initiative can continue to be improved and expanded through cooperation with technology investors from other countries.
Related News: BGS-I to support health research and innovation in Indonesia: Minister
Related news: BRIN develops AI to collect genomic data on biodiversity
Related News: Indonesia steps up genome sequencing to trace BA.4, BA.5 cases