Saturday, September 02, 2006


A detailed, fascinating and extremely disturbing, story about the problems faced by WHO experts trying to stop the spread of the bird flu virus amongst the human populations on Indonesian islands like Sumatra.

This is the story of the death of an Indonesian man who refused hospital treatment, and the alleged Tamiflu 'cure', after he became infected with the bird flu virus and fell heavily ill :

Agenda Purba, a witch doctor from Jandi Meriah, chanted over 21 betel nut leaves, filled with blossoms, a pasty white lime, brown chunks of an astringent and bits of an orange-colored nut.

He prayed for the young man's recovery, then chewed the first of the leaves and softly spit onto Jones' forehead. Purba repeated the process until he had finished the leaves, slathering the torso, arms, legs, hands and feet, making sure to cover all the joints.

"I'm the one to save Jones," Purba said. "There will be no more casualties."

When Dowes Ginting developed a fever and began coughing, he fled in search of a witch doctor. Another medicine man in Jandi Meriah, Suherman Bangun, began the incantations and betel-nut spit treatment. After three days, Indonesian and international health investigators tracked the sick man to the village and urged his family to take him to a hospital. The relatives demurred.

That night, Dowes took an abrupt turn for the worse.

Shortly before dawn, Dowes rose to use the bathroom. Staggering, he could hardly breathe. His uncle lugged him to his SUV and set off for the district hospital.

Before they made it, Dowes had died.

Go here for the fully story.

No comments: