Indonesia keeping bird flu deaths a secret

09-06-2008 | |

Last month a 15-year-old girl died of bird flu, becoming Indonesia’s 109th victim. However, USA Today reports that the government did not announce the news as part of a new policy aimed at improving the image of the nation hardest hit by the disease.

“How does it help us to announce these deaths?” said Heath Minister Siti Fadilah Supari. “We want to focus now on positive steps and achievements made by the government in fighting bird flu.”
It is reported that Indonesia’s decision tokeep bird flu deaths hidden could aggravate the World Health Organization. The WHO updates its official tally of Indonesia’s bird flu deaths only until after they are formally announced by the government.
On the WHO website, Indonesians bird flu death toll stands at 133 cases and 108 deaths. The country now accountes for nearly half the 241 recorded fatalities worldwide.
Related link:
World Health Organization