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Cablegate: Indonesia - June 22 Avian Influenza Update

VZCZCXRO2939
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1729/01 1730935
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220935Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5197
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
INFO RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//J07/CATMED/CAT//
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 8010
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0844
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1011
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 7582

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001729

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

AIDAC

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, G/AIAG AND OES
USAID FOR ANE/CLEMENTS AND GH/CARROLL
DEPT ALSO PASS TO HHS/WSTEIGER/ABHAT/MSTLOUIS AND HHS/NIH
GENEVA FOR WHO/HOHMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED CASC EAGR AMGT PGOV ID
SUBJECT: INDONESIA - JUNE 22 AVIAN INFLUENZA UPDATE

REF: A) Jakarta 1593; B) Jakarta 1492 and previous

1.(SBU) Summary. On June 13-14, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA),
Food and Animal Organization (FAO) and the National Committee on
Avian Influenza Control and Pandemic Preparedness (KOMNAS) hosted a
two-day technical workshop focusing on controlling avian influenza
(AI) in animals. Participants committed to new pledges and
identified shortcomings to the government's attempts to control the
disease in the animal population. The Indonesian press continued to
run numerous avian influenza articles, including a TEMPO (weekly
news magazine) interview with Minister of Health Siti Fadilah Supari
on sample sharing and articles on vaccine development. On June 21,
the Ministry of Health (MOH) gave permission for newly arrived
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officer Dr. Mike Thomas to propose
a joint US-GOI work plan. A visiting CDC contractor began a 90-day
work program on June 5 to help get the Eijkman Institute Biosafety
Level 3 (BSL 3) laboratory operational. On June 19, a visiting CDC
media expert began his Indonesian speaking tour to help Indonesia
raise public awareness of AI. The MOH announced another fatal human
AI case on June 12, raising the total cases to 100, with 80 deaths.
End Summary.

KOMNAS MEETING EVALUATES AI CONTROL IN ANIMALS
--------------------------------------------- --

2. (SBU) At the two-day workshop hosted by MOA, FAO, and KOMNAS on
June 13-14, participants committed to new pledges and identified
shortcomings with the government's attempts to control the disease
in the animal population. Donors conveyed the message that the
large amount of money flowing into Indonesia is due to the threat of
a pandemic, and the money will not flow forever. Participants cited
the lack of significant budgetary and political commitments from the
GOI and the lack of widespread buy-in from local governments and
private, commercial poultry producers as significant gaps to
controlling the disease.

3. (SBU) Several participants suggested a significantly strengthened
role for the Chief Veterinary Officer to include oversight of
commercial and private poultry production and authority over all
disease control efforts. Participants also repeatedly questioned
the effectiveness of animal vaccines currently used in Indonesia, as
well as the consistency of delivery and application. The MOA
stresses the need for vaccination, but participants disagreed on
whether blanket or targeted ring vaccination strategies are more
appropriate.

4. (SBU) In a June 21 follow-up call with Dr. Tri Satya Putri
Naipospos (Tata), Secretary to KOMNAS, Dr. Tata noted that the MOA
had not/not made budget cuts to its program. Tata explained that
the GOI organizes AI funds in various ministries, which makes
answering budget questions difficult. She claimed the KOMNAS does
not have AI budget data for Indonesia. Tata noted KOMNAS' interest
in raising the transparency of the AI budgeting process in order to
assure the donor community that the GOI remains committed to
combating the disease.

INDONESIAN PRESS FOLLOWS SAMPLE SHARING
---------------------------------------

5. (U) In the June 18 issue of TEMPO, one of Indonesia's leading
weekly newsmagazines, Minister Supari describes Indonesia's struggle
to change the WHO regulations on sample sharing to become more
equitable. Minister Supari describes "It was a hard fight because
we faced the United States head on." The article alluded to the
upcoming October intergovernmental health meeting where participants
will develop the changes to these regulations. Supari also described
Indonesia's collaboration with Baxter Health Care and mentioned that
Indonesian officials planned to conduct clinical tests on the H5N1
vaccine produced by the US-based manufacturer. (However, a
spokesperson at Baxter denied planning such testing in Indonesia.)
The MOH also stated that they expect the release soon of an early
diagnosis test for H5N1 currently in development in Singapore.

6. (U) Supari described the APEC health ministers' meeting in Sydney

JAKARTA 00001729 002 OF 002


in the June 9 issue of Seputar Indonesia, a daily newspaper. Supari
stated, "We endorse sample-sharing as stated in a WHO resolution."
APEC health ministers agreed to ensure and support AI sample
sharing.

7. (U) On June 21, the Jakarta Post reported that the GOI will hold
another round of discussions with the World Health Organization
(WHO) in July about the authority of using AI vaccines from the WHO.
Health Minister Supari stated, "We will meet again next month to
renegotiate (on bird flu vaccines)." She added that the government
wanted to have direct authority to use the vaccine. The Minister
said the WHO wanted the government to maintain the supply of the
vaccine and to only use it in case of a pandemic. She said that it
would take six months to prepare the vaccine. The government has
expected to secure a deal with the WHO about the use of the bird flu
vaccine.

CDC GETS GREEN LIGHT TO WORK,
MEDIA EXPERT BEGINS SPEAKING TOUR
---------------------------------

8. (SBU) On June 21, the influenza headquarters at the Indonesian
Center for Disease Control and Environmental Health gave newly
arrived Dr. Mike Thomas permission to begin to develop a joint plan
for collaborative work. A Singaporean-funded WHO epidemiologist
recently arrived and may share temporary office space with the US
CDC officials at the MOH.

9. (SBU) On June 5, visiting CDC contractor Thomas Rowe, began a
ninety day assignment at the Eijkman Institute to help get its BSL-3
laboratory operational. The President of Indonesia plans to
celebrate the opening of the lab in early July.

10. (U) On June 19, Dan Rutz, acting director of the Division of
Partnerships and Strategic Alliances, CDC National Center for Health
Marketing, began an eleven-day program in Indonesia. His goal is to
meet with the media, students in journalism schools, and government
and NGO spokespersons to discuss ways to raise public awareness of
AI without causing panic.

AI HUMAN CASE REPORTS
---------------------

11. (U) The MOH reported one new fatal human AI case since reftel A.
The number of bird flu fatalities in Indonesia has risen to 80 with
the death of a 29-year-old male patient in Riau province on June 12.
As of June 21, the MOH reports 100 human cases, with a case
fatality rate of 80%.

HEFFERN

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