WHO Backs RI's Initiative to Form Influenza Research Center


Jakarta - The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed support for the Indonesian government's initiative to set up a WHO collaborating center for research on influenza.

WHO Director General Margaret Chan unveiled the world body's support at a recent meeting with Indonesian Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih on the sidelines of the 126th WHO executive board meeting, the Indonesian Representative Office in Geneva said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I support the Indonesian initiative to set up a WHO collaborating center for influenza in Indonesia and will lend help to realize the initiative," the office quoted Margaret Chan as saying.

The support is of great significance to enable Indonesia and other developing nations to have adequate capacity to diagnose and conduct risk assessment of diseases which have the potentials to become a pandemic such as H5N1 and H1N1, the statement said.

The WHO director general also expressed support for the establishment of a WHO collaborating center for disaster management in Indonesia, it said.

To date, disaster management centers had been set up in nine areas in Indonesia.

Margaret Chan lauded Indonesia for its efforts to set up the disaster management centers, hoping they could serve as training centers for other countries.

While in Geneva, Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih also held meetings with her Indian and Brunei Darussalam counterparts to discuss efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation in the health sector.

The WHO executive board is made up of 34 WHO member states including Indonesia.