Effect Measure

If you want a summary of all that is wrong with Indonesian bird flu policy, here it is:

The huge territory and people’s ignorance had hampered Indonesian health authorities’ efforts to eliminate bird flu, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Friday.

Since the government launched massive efforts to combat the spread of the virus a few years ago, many chicken and bird traders and owners have been reluctant to kill their belongings which were found infected with the H5N1 virus, due to the lack of knowledge about the danger of virus and the consideration that about ten U.S. cents compensation for a poultry was too little.

The vice president said it was necessary for the country to take stern actions to fight bird flu and asked the people to be submissive to any orders from health authorities for eliminating the outbreak.

Kalla called on the people to immediately slaughter their poultry when they were infected with the avian influenza virus.

“We need stern acts. We ask all the people to stamp poultry (infected with the virus). All must obey rules,” he said. (Xinhau)

Infected poultry are everywhere in Indonesia. The government is telling people to “kill their belongings,” to be submissive about it and to be stern in the process. “All must obey rules.”

The central government gave up almost all power to local fiefdoms and is rampant with corruption, so these pronouncements have no moral or substantive authority. This is what passes for Indonesian bird flu policy.


  1. #1 Joe in Australia
    July 24, 2006

    The central government is strong enough to have a unified defense policy but not much more. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising literally thousands of islands and I wouldn’t assume that people on the smallest islands have any real contact with the government at all.

    I guess the large islands (which have very substantial populations) are susceptible to some sort of compulsory confiscation and execution regime, but I can’t see it being much of a succcess given the proximity of nearby unmonitored infection reservoirs.

    If there’s a bird flu epidemic then Indonesia is toast – and they know it. We need a better message than “We want you to kill all your chickens and start reporting your health status to us, so that we know when to quarantine your country.”

  2. #2 GaudiaRay
    July 24, 2006

    Bribery….they understand bribery.

    Creative bribery will save the day in Indonesia. I can think of nothing else.

    My prior posts all said, Nuthin’ will get done. And so it has been.

    Remember also, the local Islamists there hate the USA, and I mean knee jerk hate Americans. So, if the idea comes from here, like the kindness we have shown, it does nothing and has done nothing and will do nothing to penetrate that socio-religious bias. When they get hurt, they beg for help, like Lebanon today, but when healthy and feeling cocky, expect nuthing to happen and expect to be considered as a great satan.

    In the nearly 1 month I was there, I saw a large swath of their societies. I don’t pontificate from thin air.

    Yet another land for the bleeding heart epidemiologists to find a life career.

    The virus will arise in Indonesia and next to nuthin’ will have been done. Hopefully, someone will have witnessed the ill and dying being brought to a regional hospital. That’s the best that I expect to see from that place.

  3. #3 revere
    July 24, 2006

    Gaudia: You were there a WHOLE MONTH? Wow. That makes you an expert, all right. No life career for you there. But your heart doesn’t bleed, I guess.

  4. #4 mara
    July 25, 2006

    Revere,I have not spent 5 minutes in Indonesia but I’m with Gaudia Ray.I”m also not a paedophile or serial killer and you are not either but guess what Revere; we could intelligently debate these topics “till the cows came home.Would you insist that I had to be one or the other before you would take me seriously?

  5. #5 revere
    July 25, 2006

    mara: This is an ethnically diverse country of 230 million people. A statement that all they understand is bribery is ridiculous. The same could be said of the US Congress who subsists on campaign contributions. Does that make it true of you or me or Gaudia? Gaudia spent a month in a huge country and is now making utterly confident generalizations about what motivates them. It’s clear from his other statements in the same comment that he has strong views about other countries and their people. I’m allowing him to express them even though I find them offensive and I’m sure others do, too.

    The Indon government is corrupt, that much everyone agrees on. Beyond that, I stand by my statement.

  6. #6 Melanie
    July 25, 2006

    Mara and Gaudia,

    You are both missing the point. Indonesia is going to be the viral sink for H5N1 because there is little treatment and no surveillance. You should be having the chills so badly that you can’t type.

  7. #7 mara
    July 25, 2006

    Revere you appear to be contradicting yourself and Melanie,your first two sentences make perfect sense .It is about 0100 here and I intend to creep off to the crypt.Good night.

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