Mar 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) –Indonesia vowed today not to share H5N1 avian influenza virus samples with the World Health Organization (WHO) until it has a “legally binding” guarantee that the samples won’t be used to develop vaccines that the country can’t afford, according to news services.Indonesian Health Minister Siti Failah Supari told reporters in Jakarta today,”We will not share our virus sample, without a change in the rules,” the Associated press (AP) reported. The statement signaled the continuation of a standoff that has lasted several weeks.Indonesia has not supplied any H5N1 samples to the WHO since the end of 2006, the WHO has said. Steps toward resolution of the problem have been reported twice in the past month, but no final agreement has been reached.Researchers need current H5N1 samples to trace changes in the virus, map its spread, and develop vaccines in preparation for the threat of a human flu pandemic.Supari complained that WHO regulations give countries no control over how their viral samples are used, according to a Bloomberg News report. “Vaccine makers will try to produce and sell them [vaccines] to us at high price,” she said. “Poorer countries shouldn’t become a commercial target.”The WHO announced early in February that Indonesia had stopped sharing H5N1 isolates. After a Feb 16 meeting, officials said they had agreed in principle that Indonesia would resume sharing samples while the WHO would work to ensure that developing countries have access to vaccines based on their samples.In a Feb 28 letter, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan promised Indonesia that its viral specimens would be used “for public health risk assessment purposes only,” the AP reported. She also promised that, pending a formal agreement, the WHO would obtain Indonesia’s permission before sending any samples to a vaccine producer.But Supari said the letter was not enough, according to the AP. “That’s just an agreement in principle,” she said. “We need one that is legally binding.”Supari said Asia-Pacific health ministers will meet in Jakarta Mar 27 and 28 to propose changes in the WHO’s virus-sharing system, the story said.According to a Reuters report today, Supari said the proposed changes also would need to be discussed at a WHO advisory board meeting in May. She suggested that would be the earliest that the country would resume providing samples.The WHO’s Southeast Asia director, Samlee Plianbangchang, voiced confidence that the meeting later this month in Jakarta would do much to resolve the problem, the AP reported.See also:Feb 16 CIDRAP News story “Indonesia to resume sharing H5N1 samples with WHO”
The USC men’s basketball team will look to avenge its first conference loss of the season, as well as bounce back from its current three-game skid, when they host UCLA at the Galen Center on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.Big man on campus · Senior center Omar Oraby is the only Trojan to have started every game this season, but saw limited time in last month’s battle against the Bruins after sustaining an injury and later fouling out. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanUSC (10-12, 1-8 Pac-12) is coming off a pair of losses over the weekend. The Trojans suffered a 76-75 overtime loss to Oregon State (13-8, 6-4), Jan. 30 and a 78-66 loss to Oregon (15-6, 3-6) on Feb. 1. Junior guard Byron Wesley led the Trojans with a combined 42 points, but USC remains at the bottom of the Pac-12.“We had a very frustrating few weeks,” said USC head coach Andy Enfield. “This league is very good top to bottom and I’m very proud of our players. They’ve had great attitudes and they’ve been very enthusiastic and they came out and played that way tonight.”Wesley is averaging 16.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game to lead USC in both categories. Senior center Omar Oraby is second on the team with 6.5 rebounds per game. Senior guards J.T. Terrell and Pe’Shon Howard are the other two Trojans scoring in double-digits, with 10.4 and 10.3 points per game, respectively. Howard also leads the team with 4.1 assists per game.“We just need to stay consistent,” Wesley said. “Look at the film, grow from that, see our flaws, see what we did well, and continue to practice hard and prepare like we’ve been preparing.”UCLA (17-5, 6-3) split its two games against the Oregon teams last week, picking up a 70-68 win over the Ducks, but falling 71-67 to the Beavers.The Bruins are paced by Jordan Adams, who leads the team with 16.8 points per game and is second on the team with 5.5 rebounds per game. Kyle Anderson is averaging 15.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game, leading the team in the latter two categories.The last match between the two schools was on Jan. 5, when the Bruins scored a season-high 107 points en route to a 107-73 win. It was the third game of the season where the Bruins scored more than 100 points, and the most points they’ve scored against the Trojans since another 107-point outburst in 1966.Wesley led the Trojans with 21 points and nine rebounds, Terrell added 14 points off the bench and freshman guard Julian Jacobs finished with 10 points, five assists, five rebounds and three steals.Anderson led UCLA with 23 points and 12 rebounds, as three Bruins finished with 20 or more points. Adams finished with 21, while Bryce Alford added 20. UCLA shot 58 percent from the field, including 48 percent from three-point range, while the Trojans shot 42 percent and 26 percent from behind the arc.The Bruins lead the all-time series 134-104 and have won five of the past six meetings against their archrival. That one loss came last January in Westwood.“[We need to] just play more as a team and be focused,” said freshman forward Nikola Jovanovic.After their match against the Bruins, the Trojans will remain at the Galen Center to take on Utah (14-7, 3-6) on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Colorado (17-6, 6-4) on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. The Utah game will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks, while the Colorado game will be broadcast on ESPNU.