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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 08:46, September 06, 2006
Indonesia to produce millions of tamiflu to combat bird flu
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Indonesia will produce 5 million tablets of tamiflu this year and conduct a massive vaccination of poultry to combat avian influenza, senior officials said here Tuesday.

Two local companies, the Kimia Farma and the Indo Farma have registered to take part in the production, said Director General of Pharmacy Services of the Indonesian Health Ministry Richard Panjaitan.

"The next plan is to obtain (tamiflu) from domestic production, " he told Xinhua.

"Five million capsules of tamiflu will be produced before December this year," said Panjaitan.

However, he said that the materials for the capsules would still be imported from other countries.

Earlier, Indonesia has imported 5 million tamiflu from India and 2 million from Switzerland, he said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) representative to Indonesia George Peterson said that as long as the bird flu epidemic still occurs on poultry, there might be occasional human cases of avian influenza.

Authorities and experts have said the huge territorial and large amount of backyard-centered chicken farms have hampered efforts to completely eliminate the highly pathogenic H5N1 in Indonesia.

And 14 out of 61 people contracted with the avian influenza have survived in Indonesia.

"On human we have seen slightly increasing cases lately," Peterson told Xinhua.

"I think the most important thing is to control the epidemic in the bird, and we know that the government together with donors have bee working on that, that needs to be scaled up," he added.

More than a third of the Indonesian territory has been infected by the avian influenza, according to the health ministry.

Indonesian Minister of Agriculture Anton Apriantono told Xinhua that his ministry would carry out a massive vaccination on hundreds of millions of chickens in the country.

Indonesia reported the biggest cluster in Karo district in North Sumatra province in May, that killed seven people linked by blood.

More than 40 million people were killed in a bird flu pandemic between 1918 to 1919, the WHO has said.

Source: Xinhua

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