Sep 242014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/06/06MANILA2465.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA2465 2006-06-13 09:07 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO6759
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2465/01 1640907
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 130907Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1470
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
INFO RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 1271
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHDC
RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2696
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5779
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 9356
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 4363
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2320
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 0805
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 3346
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MANILA 002465

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR UNDER SECRETARY PDOBRIANSKY
STATE FOR AMBASSADOR JLANGE
STATE FOR OES/IHA FOR JKAUFMANN, DSINGER AND RDALEY
STATE FOR INR/EAP FOR JSTROTZ
STATE FOR EAP/EX
STATE FOR M/MED
STATE PASS USDA/FAS/ICD FOR ROSENBLUM
STATE PASS USDA/FAS/DL&P FOR MAGINNIS
STATE PASS USDA/FAS/ITP/AA FOR ALEXANDER
STATE PASS USDA/FAS/FAA FOR HAGER
STATE PASS USDA/APHIS/IS FOR HOFFMAN
STATE PASS USDA/APHIS/VS FOR DUVERNOY
STATE PASS USDA/ARS/SEPRL FOR SUAREZ
STATE PASS USAID FOR DCARROLL AND ACLEMENTS
BANGKOK FOR REO JAMES WALLER
CIA FOR NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE COUNCIL NIO/EA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO SENV EAGR EAID PREL RP AMGT AMED

SUBJECT: UPDATE ON AVIAN INFLUENZA – PHILIPPINES

MANILA 00002465 001.2 OF 003

Sensitive but Unclassified – Not for Internet – Protect
Accordingly.

REF: A) MANILA 2319 B) MANILA 2207 C) MANILA 1567
D) MANILA 860 E) STATE 023826 F) 05 STATE 209622

——-
SUMMARY
——-

¶1. (U) Post’s Avian Influenza Task Force met on June 7 to
review current initiatives and plans to prepare for a
potential outbreak of Avian Influenza in the Philippines.
The Task Force is chaired by USAID and includes
representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the
Medical Unit, Management, Consular, Economic, Political,
Public Affairs, Peace Corps and JUSMAG. The Ambassador
chaired this session of the Avian Influenza Task Force to
review status and discuss next steps. End summary.

——————
Situation Analysis
——————

¶2. (SBU) The Philippines has had no confirmed case of H5N1
to date. The country is at high risk given migratory bird
patterns which transit from infected neighboring countries,
exotic bird smuggling from Indonesia and back yard farming
operations which co-mingle various animals including
chickens, ducks and pigs. If an outbreak were to occur, the
highly mobile Filipino population could present a
significant challenge for AI containment efforts.

————————
GRP Preparedness Efforts
————————

¶3. (U) The Philippines has a National AI Task Force co-
chaired by the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health.
Together with private sector groups, the GRP developed a
credible national preparedness plan and a communications
strategy. However the plan remains under-funded and
preparedness initiatives have not penetrated to remote rural
areas. Post’s Task Force members agreed that surveillance
capacity remains weak and would benefit from additional
coordinated donor assistance.

———–
USG Support
———–

¶4. (U) USAID has secured a FY06 budget of $680,000 to
support AI preparedness programs. In addition, Health and
Human Services (HHS) has allocated $1.2 M for AI assistance
to the Philippines. USAID is working to strengthen public
awareness and is sponsoring Municipal Preparedness Planning
Workshops in 33 provinces across the Philippines to educate
animal and human health officials about surveillance
techniques and containment strategies. USAID will mobilize
technical support from NGOs to coordinate community-based

MANILA 00002465 002.2 OF 003

early warning systems to help protect the Mindanao border,
which is a transit point between the Philippines and AI-
infected countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. USAID is
also printing posters and flyers to provide important
information about the AI threat and resources for further
information to the broadest possible audience. (The posters
and flyers will be printed in several local languages.) In
August 2006 USAID will provide technical support to conduct
outbreak drills at the local level. On an ongoing basis,
Post is working closely with the private sector and the
international donor community to leverage funding for key
initiatives.

—————–
Post Preparations
—————–

¶5. (SBU) The Regional Medical Officer (RMO), together with
the AI Task Force, has evaluated threats posed by pandemic
influenza and taken prudent precautions to protect the
mission community. The Medical Unit has an inventory of
32,000 doses of Tamiflu, which could be provided to mission
employees, eligible family members (EFM) and foreign service
nationals (FSN) in the event of a serious outbreak. The
Task Force discussed the importance of a clear and
consistent message to the community on the availability and
limitations of the Tamiflu stock to help manage expectations
in the event of a pandemic situation. (The Tamiflu is
stored in a secure, climate controlled area.) The Medical
Unit has ordered personal protective equipment to safeguard
the health of its employees in addition to that of the
embassy community. It has adequate stocks of emergency
supplies and medications in the event of an outbreak to
stabilize and treat patients prior to transfer to a hospital
facility. The RMO continues to liaise with counterparts in
other embassies, representatives from the WHO and CDC, local
medical providers and facilities and with the local
Department of Health. The Medical Unit has also been
involved with ongoing education efforts within and outside
the embassy community regarding infection control measures,
importance of yearly flu vaccinations and food handling to
reduce the risk of spread in the event of an outbreak of
pandemic flu.

¶6. (U) The Management Office (MGT) has spearheaded the
effort to prepare tripwires and preparedness plans, which
are posted on the Mission’s Intranet site. MGT notes that
in the event of pandemic influenza, travel restrictions may
hinder the mission’s ability draw down to essential
personnel. The Ambassador underlined the need to be
prepared to act quickly, should developments warrant an
authorized departure. Task Force members will review the
tripwires and incorporate updated contingency plans as
necessary.

¶7. (U) The Consular Section has sent out warden messages
to advise Americans in the Philippines of prudent
preparedness measures. Post is incorporating points on the
U.S. Government’s National Preparedness Plan for Pandemic
Influenza into the next warden message. Additionally, AI

MANILA 00002465 003.2 OF 003

preparedness will be discussed at the upcoming warden
conference on June 30.

¶8. (U) The Economic Section, USAID and USDA have
coordinated with government contacts in the Department of
Agriculture, Department of Health and Department of
Environment and Natural Resources to discuss the U.S.
Government’s National Preparedness Plan for Pandemic
Influenza and the importance of counter-AI initiatives in
the RP. Post is also working with business contacts to
evaluate the potential impact of an AI outbreak on U.S.
interests in the RP and on the RP economy itself.

———-
Next Steps
———-

¶9. (U) The Embassy Task Force will organize a town hall
meeting in Fall 2006 (after the summer transfer season) for
mission employees and eligible family members, to provide an
update on preparation plans and respond to any questions or
concerns. FCS will join the AI Task Force to provide
perspective on U.S. and GRP trade and business interests.
The U.S. Veterans Affairs and its Manila VA Clinic will also
join the Task Force. A follow-up AI Task Force meeting will
be held on June 15 to review tripwires and outbreak
preparedness measures. The Ambassador raised AI with the
Philippines Secretary of Agriculture and will continue to
raise AI in her courtesy calls with members of the
Philippine Cabinet. The Ambassador will also stop by a
regional AI seminar sponsored by USAID on her upcoming trip
to Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao.

KENNEY

   

 

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