Health minister accuses US abusing AI virus for commercial gain
Health Minister Siti Fadhilah Supari has again accused the US of abusing Indonesian bird flu (Avian Influenza/AI) virus for commercial purposes.
"We sent the virus (to them) for the sake of humanity but they have turned it into vaccines sold everywhere on the pretext of keeping watch for pandemic," she said at a discussion on her book titled "It`s Time for the World to Change. Devine Hands behind Bird Flu" here on Wednesday.
On the pretext of keeping watch for pandemic, she said the US and WHO had produced vaccines and sold them to third world countries for millions of dollars.
"They made third world nations laboratories. They want us to be ill while at the same time selling the vaccines. Don`t let this continue," she said.
The minister said she had fought against the injustice. However, her struggle received no attention from the Indonesian media.
"My book tells about my struggle against the injustice. The injustice happens to appear in the mechanism of sharing bird flu virus samples," she said.
She further asked the younger generation to be critical of any assistance from the developed nations.
"If we die, they will benefit from the sale of the vaccines. I want the younger generation not to "sell their heads" although they are assisted (by developed nations)," she said.
She called for continued efforts to fight bird flu at home.
"Although we have no technology, those who have it and with much money, do not have the right to steal our rights," she said.
At a meeting hosted by the WHO in Geneva last year, Supari insisted on equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of bird flu virus.
She said sharing bird flu virus samples was imperative to see if the virus had mutated, become drug resistant or grown more transmissible. (*)