Preparations for a possible bird flu pandemic must involve sectors outside the health field, for sound cooperation to help mitigate the pandemic’s impacts, a top official warned Tuesday.
“All sectors have to possess plans on pandemic preparedness, including the private sector and community groups,” said Bayu Krisnamurthi, executive director of the National Commission on Bird Flu Preparedness.
“There is no single country in the world fully ready to face the global pandemic, including Indonesia.”
Bayu, who is also deputy for fisheries, maritime affairs and agriculture to the coordinating minister for the economy, was speaking at a regional workshop for Bali and East and West Nusa Tenggara provinces, at the Jayakarta Hotel in Mataram.
Similar workshops will be held in nine other cities involving 14 provinces in Java, Papua and Sumatra islands. The workshop on simulated responses to a bird flu pandemic was supported by the national commission and UNICEF.
West Nusa Tenggara Secretary Abdul Malik said in his address that Tuesday’s workshop could be followed up by the drafting of a memorandum of understanding on a handling mechanism for a possible pandemic, “especially since the three provinces have signed an MOU on the acceleration of development in the region during East Nusa Tenggara’s golden anniversary on Dec. 20.”