Webinar Bincang Karya or BIANKA 32 – Computer Sciences & Interdisciplinary Neuroscience

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SS BK 32

Interesting Research in the Fields of Public Health, Pharmaceutical, and Nutritional Sciences Presented at Webinar BIANKA

Various interesting research in the field of Public Health, Pharmaceutical, and Nutritional Sciences from Indonesian students in the United States was presented in the weekly webinar Bincang Karya (Bianka) or Creation Talks on Tuesday (04/19).

Dwi Larso, Director of Scholarships of the Indonesia Endowment Funds for Education (LPDP), Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia said, “During the Covid-19 pandemic, the public health sector plays a strategic role in tracking the spread of the virus, developing models to predict the number of cases, developing and testing vaccines, screening and tracking Covid-19, spreading health messages, developing prevention guidelines and making guidelines for learning and work activities.”

Dwi also said that according to WHO, Indonesia faced a big challenge in the health sector, namely the shortage of health workers, especially in rural areas. Dwi stated that providing access to adequate health services was essential to promote and maintain the health of all Indonesian people.

On a different occasion, the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United States Rosan P. Roeslani emphasized that one of the important roles of human resources in the field of Public Health was to contribute to understanding the preventive and promotive patterns of Covid-19 in the community to help the government formulate policies.

Ambassador Rosan also added, “During the Covid-19 pandemic, the pharmaceutical sector occupied the highest position in GDP in 2020 which reached 9.39% (YoY). This is due to the increasing need for vitamins, supplements, and traditional medicines to boost the immune system.”

In addition, it was also said that to create competitive human resources, the government focused on handling malnutrition and stunting problems. In this case, according to Ambassador Rosan, aspects of nutrition and food need to get more attention, which involved nutrition experts.

Silvera Marolita Erari, a doctoral candidate in Epidemiology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, explained her research that focused on the Betel Quit Chewing behavior that is commonly practiced by the Papuan people.

“What I want to investigate is the prevalence of, social and cultural factors, and beliefs about the health benefits of betel quit chewing behavior,” said Silvera. According to her, various studies have revealed that there are potential health problems caused by the betel quit chewing behavior, such as tuberculosis and oral cancer.

Meanwhile, Hadi Sudarjat, who is also a doctoral candidate in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Virginia Commonwealth University, explained his research in which he created a new formula for people with opioid use disorder or commonly known as “drug addiction.”

Hadi added, “My research aims to add therapy options that can improve patient compliance and increase the effectiveness of drugs compared to drugs available on the market today.”

On the other hand, a candidate for a master’s degree in Nutritional Science from Cornell University, Muhammad Rizal, discussed his idea that focuses on how a health policy is made based on a systematic review.

“Currently, I and my PhD colleagues are working on an update to answer whether breastfeeding can transmit Covid from breastfeeding mothers to their children, “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through breast milk and breastfeeding: a living systematic review.” Currently, we are in the paper screening stage,” explained Rizal.

Representatives from leading universities in the United States were also present, namely: Tetine Lynn Sentell, Interim Dean, Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, V. Renee Russell, Director of Communications and Marketing, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Saurabh Mehta, Director of the Program in International Nutrition, Cornell University.

The three campus representatives discussed the programs that their institutions offer, the various fields of research they do, and the types of scholarships provided by their respective institutions.

Himsar Ambarita, Expert Staff for Internationalization and Partnership of Universitas Sumatera Utara, Indonesia conducted the webinar as moderator of the event.

The Educational and Cultural Attaché (Atdikbud) of the Republic of Indonesia in Washington, DC, Popy Rufaidah emphasized that the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC consistently conduct similar webinars to increase the number of young Indonesian human resources who continue their studies in the United States with government scholarships.

“In addition, this webinar serves as a means of building communication between experts or researchers in the United States and Indonesia to collaborate in conducting research,” added Atdikbud Popy.

For information, the recording of the live broadcast of the 31st Series of Bincang Karya (BIANKA) webinar in the field of Public Health, Pharmaceutical, and Nutritional Sciences can be accessed on the official Facebook page of Atdikbud USA with the link https://bit.ly/fb-watch-bianka31

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