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Indonesia receives facilities from WHO to contain bird flu threat


14:30, December 13, 2011

JAKARTA, Dec. 12 (Xinhua)-- Indonesia has received two first ever isolation rooms from the World Health Organization (WHO), which can help cure and prevent the spread of infection diseases, including bird flu.

The facilities were set up as the threat of avian influenza and other infectious diseases still existed in the vast archipelago country, whose number of H5N1 case was the highest in the world with fatality rate of nearly 100 percent partly caused by delayed diagnosis and improper treatment.

Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying on Tuesday that the newly developed airborne infection isolation facilities with negative pressure in Tangerang Regional Hospital in Tangerang, Banten, and in Persahabatan Hospital in Jakarta, were specifically designed to help contain avian influenza outbreaks in the country that could reduce the fatality. "By developing such airborne infection isolation rooms, we hope that hospitals can offer better treatment for patients infected by the virus so that we can reduce bird flu-related deaths," she said on the sidelines of a ceremony to hand over the two isolation rooms from the WHO to the ministry in Tangerang on Monday.

Indonesia has been hit by bird flu since 2005. The disease has developed slowly in recent years, but the threat remains. The case has killed 150 people out of 182 cases, the largest number in the world, according to Endang.

Despite ongoing efforts to control the disease, avian influenza (H5N1) remains a serious public health threat both globally and in Indonesia. Since the first human case emerged in 2003, there were 571 cases with 335 fatalities globally, the Jakarta Post quoted the WHO data as saying on Tuesday.

While praising some significant achievements made by Indonesia in H5N1 control, Khanchit Limpakarnjanarat, the WHO representative to Indonesia, said a fatality rate of above 80 percent still exists.

Apart from the initial two hospitals, the WHO is currently supporting the completion of similar facilities funded by the EU and implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in eight other hospitals in Indonesia.

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