152 Children in Indonesia Developed Mysterious Kidney Disease, Jakarta - 152 children were reported to develop atypical progressive acute kidney injury according to the Indonesian Pediatric Association (IDAI). However, the cause is still unknown and the investigation process is ongoing.

Chairperson of IDAI dr Piprim Basarah Yanuarso revealed that his party together with the Ministry of Health was mitigating atypical progressive acute kidney injury.

Pirprim said usually acute kidney problem among children under five is a congenital disorders because their kidneys are small.

"But these (152) children were previously healthy, and then the problem occurred," he said in the press conference on Friday (14/10/2022).

He explained there was an assumption this acute kidney injury was related to COVID-19. However, the test result conducted by IDAI showed no connection so far.

"There are some theories of the cause. First, we assume it is related to COVID-19, as a form of MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory System in Children). Although it is revealed then that this is different from prior MIS-C," said Piprim.

"The cause is not conclusive yet. Therefore, we need further investigation."

As of 14 October, the branch head of IDAI reported 152 cases of acute kidney injury. The crest was in September with a total of 76 case reports with the highest rate on DKI Jakarta.

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Resemblance to Mysterious Acute Hepatitis

Pediatrist at Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM) and secretary of the Nephrology Coordination Work Unit (UKK) dr Eka Laksmi Hidayati explained further that there was an initial assumption of the connection to COVID-19.

IDAI has worked together with the Ministry of Health by sending samples of acute kidney injury patients. The samples were examined at the laboratorium to find out the cause of the disease.

"The results have been communicated to us and therefore we think there is no consistent infection," Eka said.

"If there is a particular pandemic (like COVID-19), the cause and the finding of the virus or bacteria must be the same for all children. But this one is varied."

In accordance with Eka, this mysterious acute kidney injury can be compared with mysterious acute hepatitis that occurred before. The cause was unknown.

"Maybe I can compare this with hepatitis. Until now, the case of hepatitis has decreased without us knowing the cause. The infections are also varied," Eka said.

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152 Cases from 16 Provinces

Piprim mentioned beforehand that since mid-September, IDAI has coordinated with the branch head of IDAI about the rising case of atypical progressive acute kidney injury in children.

"We share a form to all of the branch head of IDAI and this is the result. There are 16 branches reported, maybe some have not reported yet. There are 152 cases as of 14 October," Piprim said.

"However the peak was on September with 76 reports. In october (21 cases) the case fell off. In August (36 cases) also fell off," he added.

"Our data is based on the reports of the member of IDAI. So, maybe the result is not representative. Depend on whether you reported it or not, because actually there are some hospital refuse to share the data due to confidential reasons," he said.

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The Highest Case Are Children Under Five

Piprim told that the data of the mysterious kidney acute is dinamic and will be updated frequently so the data can be reported.

"The most important thing is to appeal the member of IDAI to report all of the cases because we are investigating. We elaborate the cause with the experts and Ministry of Health," Piprim said.

Before, the range of age reported the acute kidney injury is 0-10 years old. However, most of the patients aged under 5 years old.

"If we look at the age range, most of them are 1-5 years old (75 cases). There are 35 cases for 0-5 years old, 24 for 5-10 years old, and 18 for above 10 years. But the highest rate is 1-5 years old," Piprim explained.

Based on the data explained, the case has occurred since January 2022 with 2 cases. The significant rise, however, was on August and September.


Writer: Adelina Wahyu Martanti

Diviya Agatha contributed to this report.