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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 19:17, September 23, 2005
US, Japan offer to help Indonesia deal with bird flu
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The United States and Japan have offered to help Indonesia deal with recent avian influenza outbreaks, Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Alwi Shihab said here Friday.

The two countries had offered technical aid to support the Health Ministry teams investigating and monitoring the outbreaks and improve the ability of workers at laboratories in Indonesia to detect bird flu virus faster and more accurately, Antara news agency quoted Alwi as saying.

"Training of paramedics at the 44 hospitals assigned to handle bird flu cases will also be conducted to improve their capabilities," the minister said.

Alwi also said the two countries had also offered assistance to support research on avian influenza in Indonesia.

The US government, Alwi said, had allocated 25 million US dollars in aid for bird flu-infected countries in Asia.

"But under the present circumstances, more funds will possibly be made available for Indonesia," he added.

Bird flu has killed four Indonesians since July, and two children who died this week are suspected of having had the disease. Laboratory test results are expected within days, as 13 other patients are under hospital observation.

The Indonesian government has increased measures to help curb the bird flu outbreak after imposing an extraordinary alert status earlier this week.

Source: Xinhua

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