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Cablegate: Indonesia - June 6 Avian Influenza Update

VZCZCXRO2904
PP RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1113/01 1580834
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 060834Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9223
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
INFO RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAWJB/DOJ WASHDC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 7788

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 001113

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, G/AIAG, L/DL, EAP/EX, AND OES/IHA
USAID FOR ANE/CLEMENTS AND GH/CARROLL
DEPT ALSO PASS TO HHS/WSTEIGER/MSTLOUIS AND HHS/NIH
DEPT ALSO PASS TO DOJ for OFL
GENEVA FOR WHO/HOHMAN
USDA/FAS/OSTA BRANT, ROSENBLUM
USDA/APHIS ANNELLI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO EAGR AMGT KFLU PGOV ID
SUBJECT: INDONESIA - JUNE 6 AVIAN INFLUENZA UPDATE


1. (SBU) Summary. In a move that surprised many of her
subordinates, Minister of Health Siti Fadilah Supari has told her
staff to no longer report avian influenza (AI) human deaths to the
World Health Organization after they've been confirmed by Ministry
of Health (MOH) laboratories. Indonesian press currently reports
Indonesian case fatalities at 109 deaths, while WHO officially lists
the deaths at 108. The in-depth assessment of USG funded AI
activities in Indonesia began on June 4 with a two-day launch
workshop and will continue through June 25. The National Committee
for Avian Influenza Control and Pandemic Preparedness (KOMNAS)
hosted a May 29 stock taking meeting to review Avian Influenza (AI)
strategies and control measures. USAID hosted a follow-up meeting
with donors on 30 May to review KOMNAS findings and discuss
implications for future donor support

--------------------------------------
Supari Policy to Stop Reporting Deaths
--------------------------------------

2. (SBU) On June 4, the Associated Press reported that Indonesia
will no longer formally announce AI deaths, as part of a new policy
to improve Indonesia's image. Minister of Health Supari is quoted
as wanting to focus on positive achievements made by the government
in combating bird flu. She notes she will eventually share the data,
but in batches. According to embassy sources, many Ministry of
Health (MOH) officials, including key officials, were surprised to
hear the announcement and do not agree with the policy. One
official told us that this change is not in compliance with
Indonesian national law or international heath regulations and that
he is writing the Minister to notify her that she is required by law
to notify the public as quickly as possible about infectious disease
threats. The MOH is convening a meeting on June 7 to review the
policy.

3. (SBU) The WHO website lists Indonesia with 133 cases with 108
deaths, while Indonesian press reports 109 deaths. However, in a
MOH powerpoint presentation, Dr. Nyoman Kandun, Director General of
Centers for Disease Control, used a slide listing 136 cases and 110
deaths. An official with WHO told us that they do not report cases
officially until announced by the Minister's office. WHO has
inquired why the last several cases discussed in the press have not
been announced but have not received a response. According to WHO
staff, WHO's country representative does not think meeting with the
minister will be helpful.

-----------------------------------
INDONESIA'S INDEPTH AI REVIEW BEGINS
------------------------------------

4. (U) The Embassy launched its the Avian Influenza in-depth review
on June 4. The assessment will end on 25 June. The assessment team
will meet with Indonesian veterinary and health officials, civil
society and private sector representatives, and other donors.
Presentations during the first week included site visits and
briefings on Mission expectations for the assessment, the USG
program, highlights from the KOMNAS and USAID meetings (May 29-30),
Ministry of Agriculture strategy revisions, and REDI Centre project
highlights.

5. (U) The review team members are: Joy Riggs-Perla, Team Leader,
Global Health (GH)

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