Nafsiah Mboi: (JP/P.J. Leo)
With two years left to the end of the SBY-Boediono government’s second term in 2014, newly appointed Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi said she would work hard to fulfill the health-development targets the Health Ministry had set.
She added that many challenges remained despite marked progress in a number of areas in the health sector.
Speaking at her first-ever press conference on Thursday afternoon, Nafsiah said that being appointed as a minister, she felt that she now undertook a noble but quite heavy task.
“If you ask me how I feel being appointed as a minister, I must say that I’m happy but also feel challenged because the health issues we are facing now are huge,” she told journalists at the Health Ministry after she was sworn in as Indonesia’s new Health Minister.
Despite the huge challenges, she said that she was sure that she was going to achieve the health targets as she would be working with health professionals in the ministry from whom she would receive good advice.
“And I do believe that my colleagues both in the Health Ministry and health departments at local levels really want the people in this country to stay healthy. If people are healthy, then we may earn respect from those around this country, insya’Allah (God willing),” said Nafsiah.
“Working professionally always brings me happiness. Thus, I’m grateful for being appointed as a minister although I will work only for two years,” she added.
During the swearing-in ceremony, Nafsiah signed an integrity pact. “It’s the same pact that late minister Endang signed when she started working in the cabinet. It gives details of strategic priorities the government will develop in the health sector in its second term. These are priorities we will achieve, secure and improve if necessary,” she said.
Nafsiah was appointed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to replace former health minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih who died of lung cancer on May 2.
Born in Sengkang, South Sulawesi, on July 14, 1940, Nafsiah graduated as a pediatrician from University of Indonesia (UI)’s School of Medicine in 1971. She then obtained her masters degree in public health from the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium, in 1990. She received the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation Award for Government Service in Manila, the Philippines, in 1986, and several other awards including the Satya Lencana Bhakti Sosial from then president Soeharto in 1989.
She is married to former East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) governor, Ben Mboi, and has three sons and five grandchildren.