Prof. dr. Yati Soenarto S, SpA (K)., Ph.D., a lecturer of Faculty of Medicine UGM was selected as one of Bakrie Award 2010 recipients. The award was given on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 in the office of Freedom Institute, Jakarta.
Bakrie Award is an award given to Indonesian scientists who care about the progress of the nation to appreciate their development and progress in terms of freedom, culture, and sciences in Indonesia. It is also given to stimulate innovation and extraordinary ideas (cutting edge) in five main fields (science, technology, literature, social thought, and medicine).
Award recipients are those who have made top achievements as well as renewals of their field of expertise. For the services that have been carried out, Bakrie hands out prizes amounting to 100 million rupiah.
Prof. Yati, the lady born in Sukamandi, February 5, 1944, received the award along with four other people. Prof. Yati is a recipient of the award in medicine. For four decades, she struggled to ward off diarrhea, which is known as the number one disease causing death in infants.
"Since the 70s, diarrhea has been the highest cause of death in the world. This encouraged me to study more deeply about this disease. For 40 years, with the G team, I have been trying to reduce the mortality and morbidity rates in young children," Prof. Yati said, Monday (16/8) in the Faculty of Medicine UGM.
Prof. Yati and team have made various progresses. They found the biggest cause of disease is not bacteria/parasites, but rotavirus. In cooperation with several people, she developed a rotavirus vaccine to make it more affordable. The rotavirus is sold for 1.5 million rupiah. "The development of this vaccine, besides providing affordable vaccine, also reduces Indonesia’s dependence on imported drugs,” she explained.
The invention has impacts on the method of diarrhea treatment. Up to now, many methods of diarrhea treatment use antibiotics and antiparasitic. This finding presents a new integrated treatment method that utilizes materials found nearby and supported by local communities’ knowledge.
"Up to now, the treatment of diarrhea is always relied on antibiotics and anti-parasitic. However, not all diarrhea patients need antibiotics, except those indicated as having bloody diarrhea. Giving antibiotics would likely cause resistance not only on the cause of diarrheal disease but also in other diseases,” she explained.
She added that diarrhea can be overcome by applying five steps, i.e. by giving the new ORS, Zinc, Mother’s milk and food, socialization to community, as well as giving antibiotics only to patients with bloody diarrhea. "The new ORS is proven to reduce mortality of toddlers from 40/100 ratio to 7/100," she said.
Talking about the award received, Prof. Yati revealed her feeling, "Obviously I was quite proud being selected as one of the award recipients. Hopefully, the award will trigger other researchers to be more active in conducting various studies for the advancement of the nation," she said, Monday (16/8) in the Faculty. She will give the prize for research activities.
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Prof. dr. Ali Ghufron Mukti, M.Sc., Ph.D., highly appreciated her achievement. "Her achievement is an honor for the Faculty; it also brought good results for the Faculty," Prof. Ghufron said.