The collaboration of medical workers and the scientific community in exploring and testing new ways of convalescent plasma transfusion has been a breakthrough for treatment of Covid-19 patients in Indonesia. This effort was stated in the book entitled “Penatalaksanaan Terapi Plasma Konvalesen Bagi Pasien Covid-19 di Indonesia” (The Management of Convalescent Plasma Therapy for Covid-19 Patients in Indonesia), which was launched on April 6, 2020 and is currently being used as a basic reference for Convalescent Plasma Therapy (TPK) in referred government and private hospitals for Covid-19 patients throughout Indonesia.
It was started by Siloam Hospital Lippo Village Medical Team as the first private hospital to plan Convalescent Plasma Therapy for Covid-19 patients extensively as the result of the teleconference on May 8, 2020. The success of Covid-19 treatment through this therapy is a new hope for all of us, especially for those who are infected with Covid-19. The readiness of Siloam Hospital medical team who are at the frontline handling Covid-19 & carrying out the therapy deserves a deep appreciation.
Convalescent Plasma Therapy is the transfusion of plasma from a recovered Covid-19 patient to a Covid-19 patient who is still sick, with antibodies in the plasma from the recovered patient helping to cure the disease.
Dr. dr. Theresia Monica Rahardjo, Sp.An., KIC. M.Sc. was the initiator who delivered a letter to President Joko Widodo for the implementation of the TPK throughout Indonesia. For her effort, Dr. Theresia received an award from Museum Rekor Indonesia (MURI), which was ceremonially carried out by the MURI committee in an online talkshow program on June 2, 2020.
According to Dr. Theresia, TPK is a method of therapy that has long been found and useful in overcoming various viral diseases but neglected because of the use of drugs and vaccines. Convalescent Plasma Therapy has been applied to handle SARS, Ebola, H1N1 and MERS outbreaks. According to previous studies, this therapy resulted well on patients, especially those with severe to critical symptoms.
“If properly and correctly applied, the TPK, which is a Passive Vaccination, can be used for treatment and prevention. The proper application of TPK can significantly reduce the mortality rate and can even be used as a means of protection until Active Vaccination is available,” Dr. Theresia explained.
Dr. Theresia, a medical professional with a line of academic degrees, is currently completing her studies in MM & MARS program at Universitas Pelita Harapan. For her, the managerial knowledge from UPH was very useful in approaching and coordinating with referred hospitals and education centers when she started suggesting TPK.
“In my opinion, the medical managerial knowledge is very important as there are many medical practitioners who are competent in their fields but need managerial knowledge to grow and be able to
compete in the international world. The process of study at UPH is very flexible and suitable for medical practitioners who have limited time. The professional and competent lecturers really accommodate my limited time so that amid my busy schedule, I am still excited to study at UPH,” said Dr. Theresia.
The skill from management study has resulted in 8 hospitals carrying out TPK in various ways, from plasma collection to plasma transfer. As a pioneer, Siloam Hospital Lippo Village is expected to immediately implement this TPK as a role model for other private hospitals in Indonesia.
Dr. Theresia sincerely hopes that the book on Management of Convalescent Plasma Therapy written by a team from various disciplines can be useful as a guidebook and reference for every education and health center in Indonesia in implementing convalescent plasma therapy & reducing the mortality rate caused by Covid-19.