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Cablegate: Avian Influenza Sample Sharing Update

VZCZCXRO9962
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #0567 0590832
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280832Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3522
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
INFO RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 7746
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0484
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0985

UNCLAS JAKARTA 000567

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, G/AIAG AND OES
DEPT PASS TO USAID/ANE/CLEMENTS AND GH/CARROLL
DEPT ALSO PASS TO HHS/WSTEIGER/ABHAT/MSTLOUIS AND HHS/NIH
PARIS FOR FAS/AG MINISTER COUNSELOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED CASC EAGR AMGT PGOV ID
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA SAMPLE SHARING UPDATE

REF: A) Jakarta 00504 B) Jakarta 00310 and others

1. (SBU) Summary. Jakarta World Health Organization Representative
(WHO) Georg Peterson told us on February 28 that Minister of Health
Fadillah Supari and WHO Director Margaret Chan had agreed during a
telephone call the previous evening that the Ministry of Health
(MOH) would immediately resume sharing samples upon receipt of a WHO
letter that assures sample use for global health risk assessment
purposes only and not commercial purposes. Peterson said he expects
WHO/Geneva will send the letter on February 28. According to
Peterson, Chan also agreed that WHO will commit to "serious review"
of Indonesia's concerns about equitable access to affordable
vaccines for developing countries. Peterson said he participated in
a February 23 planning session for the proposed Jakarta regional
sample sharing meeting with officials from the MOH and Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (DEPLU), but noted participants were unable to reach
consensus on the format or outcomes for the sample sharing meeting.
Meanwhile on February 27, NAMRU-2 received a copy of a February 14
MOH letter sent to Avian Influenza referral hospitals forbidding
sharing of specimens with other institutions without consent of the
Minister of Health. End Summary.

WHO-MOH Agreements During Phone Call
-------------------------------------

2. (SBU) According to WHO Representative Georg Peterson, Dr. Chan
and Minister Supari agreed during a February 27 phone call that the
MOH will immediately begin sharing samples upon receipt of a letter
from Chan assuring that samples will be used for "global health risk
assessment purposes" only and not commercial purposes. Chan promised
to send the letter on February 28 when WHO Geneva opens its office.
According to Peterson, Supari also added the condition (and Chan
agreed) that WHO would commit to serious study and discussion of
Indonesian concerns about equitable access to affordable vaccines
for developing countries. Peterson said he learned of the
Supari-Chan conversation from MOH sources, but that David Heymann,
Assistant Director General of the WHO for Communicable Diseases,
later confirmed the information.

Planning for March 27-28 Sample Sharing Meeting
--------------------------------------------- ---

3. (SBU) Peterson also reported that he participated in a February
23 Government of Indonesia (GOI) planning meeting with officials
from DEPLU and MOH. Meeting attendees debated, but reached no
consensus on, whether the proposed sample sharing meeting would be
considered a WHO meeting hosted by the GOI or whether it should be a
GOI sponsored regional diplomatic meeting. Attendees also could not
agree on whether the meeting would take place at the ministerial or
sub-ministerial level, and what the desired outcomes would be.

4. (SBU) According to Peterson, the GOI has proposed to the WHO that
the meeting occur on March 27-28. March 27 would be for senior
officials to hammer out a joint statement and March 28 would be to
announce the statement and answer questions. The WHO has asked GOI
to hold off on final preparations for the meeting until WHO provides
input on agenda and hoped for outcomes. Peterson also said he had
learned that President Yudhoyono's office is following the issue
closely.

MOH Releases February 14 Restrictive Letter
--------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) NAMRU-2 received a copy of a MOH letter dated February 14
to avian influenza referral hospitals instructing them to send all
specimens directly to NIHRD and not to share any specimens with
other institutions without consent from the Minister of Health. A
referring hospital provided NAMRU-2 with a copy of the letter while
handing over specimens. NAMRU-2 continues to receive samples from
the majority of hospitals participating in its network but worries
that more may begin to follow the MOH restriction.

6. (SBU) Comment: The GOI is not known for its careful advance
planning, and we are not surprised that it has not yet thought
through the purpose and outcomes of the proposed sample sharing
meeting. We will follow up on the issue with Deplu to see how best
the U.S. can influence the process.

HEFFERN

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