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Cablegate: Government of Senegal's Views On Sample Sharing and Vaccine

VZCZCXRO4373
OO RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #1042 1341401
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 141401Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8298
INFO RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA PRIORITY
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0819
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS DAKAR 001042

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR INR/I, S/GAC, OES/IHA, AF/EPS AND AF/W
STATE PLS PASS HHS AND NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU PINR SG
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT OF SENEGAL'S VIEWS ON SAMPLE SHARING AND VACCINE
ACCESS (C-TN7-00406)

REF: STATE 062185 (NOTAL)

1. (U) The following responses are keyed to the information
requested in reftel:

A. The Government of Senegal (GOS) shares the samples collected
with World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for
Animal Health (OIE) world reference labs and with some laboratories
such as Pasteur Institute and the research group of the Department
of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN.
The GOS has a bank of virus samples stored that is accessible to
the scientific community. The GOS believes that sharing samples is
win-win situation, and countries that share virus samples should be
able to access vaccines at preferential pricing.

B. The GOS believes that developing countries are entitled to a
tiered pricing mechanism to enable public access to vaccines.

C. Regional influenza vaccine production facility is not seen as a
priority, as it needs highly qualified personnel and biosafe
infrastructure that is lacking in West Africa. The GOS oes not
perceive a direct relationship between gowing the pandemic
influenza vaccine supply and ncreasing the supply and demand of
seasonal influenza vaccine. The level f use of seasonal influenza
vaccine is insignifiant in Senegal and is not considered as a
threat The GOS has purchased 2,500 doses of seasonal influenza
vaccine and 2,500 doses of Tamiflu to protct technicians involved
in the surveillance of aian influenza.

D. GOS officials follow and undrstand the influenza vaccine
production process,and they explicitly recognize the difference
betwen vaccine development and vaccine production. Th Government
acknowledges that vaccine development is necessary to test the
efficacy of the vaccines, and thus that a small amount needs to be
produced as a matter separate from large-scale vaccine production.

E. There is no pharmaceutical industry owned or partly owned by the
government for human medications. However, the GOS currently owns a
veterinary vaccine production unit which it plans to privatize in
the near future.

F. As a member of the WHO, the GOS participates in annual meetings
organized by the WHO's Regional Office for Africa for Ministers of
Health. During these meetings, common positions can be taken and
raised during the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.

G. As a WHO member, the GOS believes that all member countries
should follow WHO directives and resolutions and should continue
sharing virus samples as part of the global effort to fight pandemic
influenza -- and let WHO negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for
the access to the vaccines at affordable pricing.

COMMENT
-------
2. (SBU) Our contacts in the GOS understand Indonesia's point of
view, but believe that Indonesia should renegotiate directly with
pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, rather than withholding
virus samples from the WHO.

3. (SBU) Senegal's delegation to the WHO meeting will be composed
of Minister of Health and Medical Prevention Abdou Fall, the
Director of Health and the Director of Medical Prevention. Although
Senegal does not often take an active role in WHA proceedings, the
Minister of Health is a good speaker when well briefed, and he may
take the floor. If he raises this issue, our contacts expect he
would support the WHO position. END COMMENT.

JACOBS

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