INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: H1n1 in the Maldives - Vaccine Needed

Published: Thu 28 Jan 2010 11:59 AM
VZCZCXRO0288
PP RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHLM #0064 0281159
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281159Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1177
INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0603
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 2311
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 9333
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 7588
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 3748
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 9896
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI 2652
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA 0512
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE 0138
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 7183
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 0401
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1338
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
UNCLAS COLOMBO 000064
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
STATE FOR SCA/INSB
STATE FOR OES/IHB
STATE FOR AID/GH/HIDN
USDA PASS TO APHIS
HHS PASS TO CDC
HHS FOR OGHA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PGOV TBIO KFLU SOCI CASC CE
SUBJECT: H1N1 IN THE MALDIVES - VACCINE NEEDED
REF: 09 COLOMBO 1092
1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraph 3.
2. (U) EconOff met with Dr. Aminath Jameel, Minister of
Health (www.health.gov.mv), on January 14. The Minister
noted that while only one death and 35 cases of H1N1 have
been confirmed in the Maldives, many of her countrymen remain
deeply concerned about the issue. The Government of Maldives
(GOM) is therefore requesting 143,831 doses to protect "at
risk" individuals in the country -- including pregnant women,
children, health care providers, the elderly, and people with
chronic diseases. WHO is expected to assist, but to date the
Maldives has not received any vaccine.
3. (U) Having heard that Germany is interested in selling
excess H1N1 vaccine, EconOff urged the GOM to consider that
country as a possible source, which it is doing. The
Minister asked for follow up on Diplomatic Note
#(F2)EA-US/B/2009/91, received December 2, and reported
reftel. (NOTE: Post has forwarded a copy of the Dip Note to
SCA/INSB.) Post therefore seeks Department assistance in
identifying any other USG (or non-USG) sources so we can
provide additional options to the Maldives' request for
assistance. Despite earlier limits, as the flu season winds
down in the U.S. opportunities may arise to assist the
Maldives.
4. (SBU) COMMENT: The Maldives has a pro-American,
moderate-Muslim government, and its citizens are looking to
it to deliver results. Unfortunately, until now, the GOM has
not been successful in procuring the needed vaccine. Local
media reports indicate that Maldivians are privately
vaccinating themselves by obtaining the vaccine overseas.
This is cause for concern since there is no way to determine
the quality of these vaccines. Providing needed vaccines is
the best method to limit mortality and increase the people's
faith in their fledgling democratic government. END COMMENT.
BUTENIS
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