May 27, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia’s health minister asserted yesterday that 112 other nations at a meeting in Geneva last week expressed support for her country’s position on avian influenza virus sharing, according to an Indonesian newspaper.At a press conference in Jakarta yesterday, Siti Fadilah Supari said support for Indonesia’s sample-sharing proposals came on May 21 at a Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) health ministers meeting, which was held alongside the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual meeting in Geneva, the Jakarta Post reported today. The NAM, founded in 1955, is an organization of countries that consider themselves not aligned with or against any superpower. Supari said representatives of 112 countries at the NAM health ministers meeting supported Indonesia’s demands.”We received moral and political support from health ministers from England, Russia, Iran, and Australia,” Supari said, according to the Post report. The NAM Web site does not list England or Australia among its 118 member countries.In early 2007, Indonesia announced it had stopped sharing H5N1 influenza virus samples with the WHO out of concern that developing countries that share such samples will not have access to vaccines that drug companies in rich countries may produce from the samples. The country has shared only a few samples since then. It has pushed for new virus-sharing policies that it considers more transparent and fair to it and other developing nations.Supari continues talks with USDuring the WHO’s annual World Health Assembly, Supari urged world health officials to replace the WHO’s virus-sharing system, saying it favors developed nations, the Post reported. Also during the meeting, she met with US Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt to discuss possible solutions to the virus-sharing impasse, in a continuation of talks that had begun in April.Leavitt mentioned the latest talks at a May 19 press conference in Geneva. “Actually, not a great deal changed as a result of our meeting today,” he told reporters, according to a transcript published on the US State Department Web site.He emphasized that the United States wants to help forge needed improvements in the sample-sharing system. “What we aren’t willing, of course, to do is engage in any system that would involve compensation for virus samples,” he said. “This is a 60-year-old tradition. That’s one of the greatest public health successes in history.”A progress report on multilateral efforts to settle the sample-sharing issue, including ideas raised at the World Health Assembly, is expected in July, Leavitt said. A WHO working group dedicated to solving the problem, which has met several times, will meet again in November. “And we’re hopeful that by November of this year we’ll have a protocol under which that [virus sharing] can be done,” Leavitt said.In a recent book, Supari accused the United States of planning to make a biological weapon out of the H5N1 virus and charged that the United States and the WHO have conspired to profit from H5N1 vaccines.Genetic data to be shared Indonesia recently announced it would begin sharing H5N1 viral sequences with a new public database, the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID), which was formed by a group of 70 scientists and health officials to promote greater sharing of H5N1 sequences.GISAID has said the public can freely access the database, which includes both human and animal H5N1 sequences, after they register and agree to share and credit the use of others’ data, analyze findings jointly, publish results collaboratively, and refrain from pressing intellectual property rights issues that relate to diagnostic, drug, and vaccine developments.Experts have praised the new development, but some have said that having actual H5N1 isolates is more useful because they are needed to make seed strains for vaccines and are critical for determining antigenicity, transmissibility, and pathogenicity.See also:Apr 17 CIDRAP News story “HHS secretary blogs on impasse with Indonesia”May 19 CIDRAP News story “Experts welcome Indonesia’s vow to share H5N1 data”
Rescuers in Nepal battled on Tuesday to reach remote communities devastated by a huge earthquake that has killed at least 4,310 people, as the impoverished country’s leader said relief workers had still not reached many of the worst-hit areas.Prime Minister Sushil Koirala told an emergency all-party meeting that the government was sending desperately needed tents, water and food supplies to those in need.But he said getting help to remote Himalayan villages left devastated by Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake was a “major challenge” in the desperately poor country, where many communities are inaccessible by road.Sources say an estimated eight million people have been affected by the massive earthquake in Nepal, and 1.4 million are in need of food aid, the United Nations says.International aid has started arriving but there is still a shortage of medical equipment, food and body bags.The 7.8-magnitude quake hit Nepal on Saturday destroying buildings in Kathmandu and severely affecting rural areas across the region.A government official said on Tuesday the death toll had risen to 4,310.Almost 8,000 people have been injured, home ministry spokesperson Laxmi Prasad Dhakal is quoted as saying.China’s Air Force planes are already in Nepal to give relief to the victims of the quake and also help in rescue operations following Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake.Two IL-76 planes were dispatched to an airport in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, and one IL-76 plane was placed at an airport in Kunming, capital of nearby Yunnan Province, to transport PLA rescuers and logistics to Nepal. International aid has started arriving but there is still a shortage of medical equipment, food and body bags.
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Maxine Clark, age 71, of Liberty, Indiana died Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at Reid Health in Richmond, Indiana.Born May 3, 1947 in Knoxville, Tennessee she was one of fourteen children born to the late John B. & Iva Lee (Gentry) Summey. On March 20, 1981 she was united in marriage to Rodney Duane Clark, and he preceded her in death on September 26, 2017.Maxine worked for many years as a CNA and in the home healthcare field. She was a member of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary in Liberty, the Delta Theta Tau Sorority, and the Liberty Garden Club. In her leisure time she enjoyed gardening and flowers; and spending time with her grandchildren.Survivors include her step-mother, Dorothy Summey of Brookville, Indiana; four children, Brian W. DeFossett of Brookville, Indiana, Greg (Renee) DeFossett of Brookville, Indiana, Michelle (Kelly) Peed of Williamsburg, Indiana and April (Larry) Gabbard of Connersville, Indiana; 14 grandchildren, Michele (Ryan) Moran, Michael (Jessica) DeFossett, Jeremy Defossett, Alyson (Kurt) Flanigan, Alyssa Persinger, Mason Peed, Kollyn Peed, Ayden Alcorn, Isabella Peed, Cierra Gabbard, Jakob Gabbard, Nikalas Gabbard, Brooklyn Gabbard and Peyton Gabbard; 8 great-grandchildren, Kurtis Flanigan, Atreyu Flanigan, Emily Moran, Riley Moran, Mikey Rosefeld, Rowin DeFossett, Heaven McQueen, Hailey McQueen. She also leaves seven siblings, Gail Kaiser of Greenwood, Indiana, Brenda Tomlin of Brookville, Indiana, Gary (Carol) Summey of Greenwood, Indiana, James (Tina) Summey of Brookville, Indiana, Jenny (Dave) Ryckman of Connersville, Indiana, Joyce (Tom II) Davis of Brookville, Indiana and Ramona (Kenny) Alig of Brookville, Indiana.In addition to her parents & husband, Duane, she was preceded in death by siblings, Minnie Watson, Berter Troutman, Howard Summey, Walter Summey, Effie May Summey, and Michael Summey.Family & friends may visit from 9 until 11:00 A.M. on Monday, March 18, 2019 at Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home, 1025 Franklin Avenue, Brookville.Funeral Services will be conducted at 11:00 A.M. on Monday, March 18, 2019 at Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home in Brookville. Burial will follow in West Point Cemetery in Liberty, Indiana.Memorial contributions may be directed to Reid Health Hospice. The staff of Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home is honored to serve the Clark family, to sign the online guest book or send personal condolences please visit www.phillipsandmeyers.com .