Thalassemia in Indonesia

Pustika A. Wahidiyat, Teny T. Sari, Ludi D. Rahmartani, Stephen D. Iskandar, Anastasia M. Pratanata, Ivana Yapiy, Iswari Setianingsih, Tubagus D. Atmakusuma, Anna M. Lubis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Indonesia is located along the ‘Thalassemia Belt’ and a hotspot for hemoglobinopathies. Around 3.0–10.0% of the population carry β-thalassemia (β-thal) and 2.6–11.0% of the population carry α-thalassemia (α-thal). It is estimated that around 2500 babies are born with β-thal major (β-TM) each year. At present, the cornerstone of treatment for β-TM in Indonesia remains supportive, including blood transfusions and iron chelation therapy. Hemovigilance systems in some cities are poor and it increases the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections and transfusion reactions. The availability of iron chelators remains uncertain, even in some rural areas, iron chelators do not exist. The poor adherence to iron chelation therapy and maintaining pretransfusion hemoglobin (Hb) levels above 9.0 g/dL are still a major issue in Indonesia. The cost of blood transfusion and iron chelation are covered by national health insurance. In line with the rise of life expectancy, the financial burden of thalassemia in Indonesia is increasing sharply. Thus, optimizing preventive programs may be the most suitable option for the current thalassemia condition in Indonesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-44
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Indonesia
  • Iron chelation
  • prevention
  • thalassemia


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