UNAIR NEWS – Recently, Expertscape World Expert placed dr. Muhammad Miftahussurur, M.Kes., Sp.PD-KGEH., Ph.D. in the top 0.1% of researchers on Helicobacter pylori. Dr. Miftah is the only researcher from Indonesia who received the award.
“I was surprised, but I felt grateful that I was nominated. Although the achievement does not reflect everything about pylori, I think the rank is fair enough because the first, second, and third ranks are indeed the world’s pylori experts,” he said.
The alumnus of the Faculty of Medicine (FK) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) said that he has been studying Helicobacter pylori since 2011. After ten years of research, he wrote 98 Scopus indexed publications, 80 of which discuss Helicobacter pylori. Thus, it is not a surprise that Expertscape calls him a “World Expert.”
When conducting research on pylori bacteria, Dr. Miftah once had to gather 1,000 people to get 100 bacteria samples. Carrying an endoscope, he began his journey in the whole archipelago.
In Indonesia, explained Dr. Miftah, the number of pylori bacteria is high only in certain ethnic groups. Among them are Batak, Buginese, Papuan, and Timorese. Meanwhile, dominant ethnic groups such as Javanese, Sundanese, or Malay have a low prevalence of pylori bacteria, only at two percent.
“The two percent means that out of 100 people, only two people are positive. In comparison, Batak reaches 40 percent, while Buginese is around 38 percent,” explained the Vice-Rector for Internationalization, Digitization, and Information (IDI) UNAIR.
The findings then became a phenomenon that attracted the world because, he explained, the average prevalence rate of Helicobacter pylori worldwide is 40 to 60 percent.
“This becomes the center of attention where our publications can be accepted. In developed countries such as Japan, the prevalence reaches 40 to 60 percent. Meanwhile, African countries reach 60 to 70 percent. But, our prevalence is only two percent. That’s why it’s interesting,” explained Dr. Miftah.
Previously, Dr. Miftah had often been asked to explain the results of his studies in Taiwan and South Korea. According to him, no field of research is useless. He used to think that the perspective of Helicobacter pylori research was very low. However, it has got him to continue his study in Japan and America.
With his success, Dr. Miftah hoped to encourage Indonesian researchers that molecular epidemiology is still prospective research to be carried out.
“Although our field of research is not very prospective, our persistence will turn out to have a big impact,” he concluded. (*)
Author: Erika Eight N.
Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh