Indonesia defends AI fight after latest deaths

20-10-2006 | |

In the wake of three recent deaths from avian influenza in Indonesia, the country has continued to defend its efforts in fighting the disease.

Indonesia has long been criticised for not using well-established methods for eradicating bird flu, including mass culling and vaccination.
The government’s defense is that it is unable to offer adequate compensation to the millions of backyard poultry farmers who may be affected by mass culling. Similarly, the demographics of the country’s poultry flock make vaccination impractical, it says.
“We are doing the best we can,” said Nyoman Kandun, a senior Health Ministry official.
The Indonesian government’s recent bird flu information campaign, which aimed to teach people how to avoid contracting the disease through proper hygiene and due care, seems to have had little effect on the country’s bird flu death rate.
According to the World Health Organisation’s official count, there have been 72 cases of bird flu in humans in Indonesia, 55 of which have been fatal. Indonesia has the highest death toll worldwide from the disease.