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Cablegate: Indonesia - December 17 Avian Influenza Update

VZCZCXRO0237
PP RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2290/01 3540237
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 190237Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1012
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 7852

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002290

SIPDIS
UNCLASSIFIED

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 PGOV ID KLIG
SUBJECT: INDONESIA - DECEMBER 17 AVIAN INFLUENZA UPDATE

1.(SBU) Summary. During a December 16-17 strategy meeting on
controlling avian influenza in western Java, Ministry of Agriculture
authorities released statistics showing that while Indonesian
municipaiities affected with poultry AI outbreaks increasedi(n 2008,
the number of birds stricken with the dssease decreased by 90%. On
December 10, the Mayor of Tangerang ordered municipal officials to
leave a Tangerang Secretariat baseline health survey meeting when
the Mayor learned that Banten provincial officials had distributed
Tangerang avian influenza central funds to other parts of the Banten
province. On December 10-13, Dr. Sangkot Marzuki convened the
Wallacea Conference in Makassar, as a vehicle to relaunch
Indonesia's National Academy of Scientists. End Summary.


Ministry of Agriculture Announces AI Case Decrease
--------------------------------------------- -----

2. (U) During a press conference on the sides of a two-day AI
strategy session focusing on western Java, Ministry of Agriculture
Director General of Animal Health Tjeppy Soedjana announced that
while number of affected regions has increased, the number of
animals stricken with avian influenza has significantly decreased.
According to Ministry of Agriculture statistics, the number of
municipalities with confirmed bird flu cases has increased from 60
in 2003, to 294 in 2008, while infections among birds has decreased
from 483,364 in 2007 to 46,014 in 2008. According to Tjeppy,
between 2009 and 2011, the government plans to focus on the
following areas: Jakarta, West Java, East Java, Central Java,
Yogyakarta, South Sulawesi, and Lampung. The government will try to
better manage traditional markets and poultry collection centers to
stop the disease from spreading and will also take steps to control
the poultry slaughterhouses and the transportation of the poultry.
Several Indonesian newspapers carried the story on December 17.

3.(U) Excerpts from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
issued during the conference include "... the Ministry of
Agriculture working in close cooperation with local governments, has
made significant gains in improving HPAI surveillance, prevention,
and control capacity throughout the country with control achieved in
a number of areas. Ministry of Agriculture data indicates that HPAI
does not appear to be spreading to new areas, and overall geographic
range appears to be decreasing along with a general decrease in
disease incidence, although some areas are still heavily affected.
This indicates, that 1) HPAI can be controlled in Indonesia, 2) the
Government of Indonesia is capable of controlling this disease, and
3) that more work is required to bring the disease under full
control, particularly on Java."

4.(U) According to technical experts, the increase in reporting of
the number of AI affected villages since 2003 is likely attributed
to two things 1) uncontrolled spread of the virus from 2003 to early
2005 due to lack of a systematic control program and, 2) increased
surveillance of village poultry by USAID funded teams. Recent data
indicates that the geographic spread has decreased with no outbreaks
reported in Kalimantan in 2008 and significant decreases in
outbreaks in Bali and East Java. Experts believe that the
geographic range and number of poultry outbreaks is a better
indicator of the status of avian influenza in Indonesia rather than
the number of diseased birds. According to informal industry
sources, the poultry industry continues to have significant problems
with the disease, with outbreaks not captured by the current
government surveillance system.

Tangerang Project Meeting Disrupted by Politics
--------------------------------------------- --

5.(SBU) On 10 December, the Tangerang AI trilateral project
Secretariat held a workshop to disseminate the findings of health
baseline study of poultry production and distribution sites in
Tangerang. Municipal workers who collected the data for the project
were invited to attend the workshop. However, shortly after arrival,
the Tangerang Mayor's office ordered that these employees leave the
meeting and return to work due to the Mayor's displeasure with
funding. The Government of Indonesia planned to provide Tangerang
District and Municipality with 45 billion rupiah ($4.1 million) for
Avian Influenza activities. However, central authorities transferred
funds to the Governor of Banten's office who then distributed the

JAKARTA 00002290 002 OF 002


funds to the other districts and municipalities in the Banten
province. Officials cite that the governor believes Tangerang
municipality should rely on funds from foreign donors. The
Government of Singapore, the U.S. and the Tangerang Trilateral
Secretariat do not provide funds to support the municipality.


Academy of Science's Wallacea Conference A Success
--------------------------------------------- -----

6. (U) The Indonesian Academy of Sciences, led by Dr. Sangkot
Marzuki, convened its first conference entitled, "Letter from
Ternate" in Makassar from 10-13 December. Over 230 Indonesian and
foreign scientists and other professionals attended. The conference
focused on the importance of Indonesia to the development of the
theory of evolution and provided a venue for discussion of future
international scientific partnerships. The Academy, dormant for some
time, also used the conference to reintroduce and promote itself.
Academy members will issue a declaration drafted in the meeting on
the topic of preserving Indonesia's biodiversity.

HUME

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