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Indonesia - Why Bird Flu Control Is Failing

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  • Indonesia - Why Bird Flu Control Is Failing

    Great inside story from Sumatra - Aceh. Explains why bird flu control is failing.

    Containing bird flu

    Efforts to control avian influenza need to consider the importance of birds in Indonesians’ lives.

    Rizal, a small-scale commercial poultry farmer in Aceh, employs twelve people in his village. As his two-year-old son stumbles after chickens just beyond arm’s length he spreads a young chick’s wings to reveal discoloration in the breast and comments on how often disease occurs. He knows when his birds are sick and routinely dilutes powdered vitamins in water to promote good health among his flock. He wants to know what else he can do to protect the source of his livelihood.


    For a poultry farmer, being labelled a source of disease can bring stigma and hamper economic opportunity and Rizal fears the ramifications for his family and the village should his flock be labelled diseased and targeted for culling.

    Speaking between a coffee and a kretek cigarette, Rizal stresses that he does not report sick birds to health authorities. In Indonesia, Rizal’s story is common but too often neglected when developing and rolling out disease containment programmes.

    This is one of possibly many reasons why some of those targeted by interventions to contain the spread of avian influenza are actively disengaging from such efforts.

    Read the full story
    ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
    Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

    ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~