Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Influenza - Watch Out!

I am surprised when reading Kaltim Post newspaper (Monday, 27 April 2009) about the outbreak of Swine Influenza virus (Swine Flu). Immediately I browse the internet to find more information about these outbreak, and here of what I found for sharing.

What is Swine Influenza ?
According to World Health Organization (WHO), Swine influenza, or “swine flu”, is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs, caused by one of several swine influenza A viruses. Morbidity tends to be high and mortality low (1-4%). The virus is spread among pigs by aerosols, direct and indirect contact, and asymptomatic carrier pigs. Outbreaks in pigs occur year round, with an increased incidence in the fall and winter in temperate zones. Many countries routinely vaccinate swine populations against swine influenza.

Apprehensive Outbreak
On April 25th 2009, upon the advice of the Emergency Committee called under the rules of the International Health Regulations, the Director-General declared this event as Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

On April 26th 2009, the Government of United States has reported 20 laboratory confirmed human cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 (8 in New York, 7 in California, 2 in Texas, 2 in Kansas and 1 in Ohio). All 20 cases have had mild Influenza-Like Illness with only one requiring brief hospitalization. No deaths have been reported. Also as of 26 April, the Government of Mexico has reported 18 laboratory confirmed cases of swine influenza A/H1N1. Investigation is continuing to clarify the spread and severity of the disease in Mexico. Suspect clinical cases have been reported in 19 of the country's 32 states.

On April 27th 2009, on second meeting of The Emergency Committee, considered available data on confirmed outbreaks of A/H1N1 swine influenza in the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada. The Committee also considered reports of possible spread to additional countries. On the advice of the Committee, the WHO Director-General decided to raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from the current phase 3 to phase 4. The change to a higher phase of pandemic alert indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased, but not that a pandemic is inevitable.

On April 28th 2009, seven countries have officially reported cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 64 laboratory confirmed human cases, with no deaths. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths. The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Canada (6), New Zealand (3), United Kingdom (2), Israel (2) and Spain (2).

On April 29th 2009, the situation continues to evolve rapidly. Nine countries have officially reported 148 cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 91 laboratory confirmed human cases, with one death. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths. The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel (2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4) and the United Kingdom (5).

Click here for daily updates from WHO about Swine Influenza and Click here to read frequently asked questions about Swine Influenza.

Meanwhile according to Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, Dr. dr. Siti Fadilah Supari, Sp.JP(K) to the journalist in the press conference about Swine Influenza (Tuesday, April 28th 2009, in Jakarta), this virus usually only live in cold areas that have four seasons. Possibility, H1N1 virus will not be able to live in the tropics such as Indonesia. However, the Ministry of Health has undertaken vigilance steps and prevention in order not to spread to Indonesia.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Why Vote for Nuances Religious Party Go Down

In Legislative Election 2009 in Indonesia, happened the trend of decreasing vote for party with religious nuance, both the nuances of Islam or Christian. This phenomena was attract me in making this post.

I see party in Indonesia can be divided into two parts that is, nuances religious and nuances moderate / nationalist. In the history of national scale election in Indonesia, party nuances Christian has not been able to show significant vote. This could be happened, perhaps because the percentage of Christians population is very small. Which is the interesting matter is, there was decreasing trend of vote for party nuances of Islam in Indonesia (the world's most populous Moslem), except PKS party. The success of PKS party to maintain their vote is because they have an effort to divert the issue of religious sentiment into general issue.

According to a researcher from The Indonesian Survey Institute (Lembaga Survei Indonesia / LSI), Burhanuddin Muhtadi (Jawa Pos newspaper, Saturday, April 11th 2009), analyze that the defeat is because among Islamic political party snatch the same base voters, so the vote obtained is decrease. "I call this cannibalism among Islamic political party. Mutually eat each other" said Burhanuddin. Still according to Burhanuddin, Islamic political party can not yet reach the market of voters with nationalist background, who generally to be object by majority of the party. "That because of selling the wrong issue. They are still selling religious issues, such as pornography, Jakarta Charter (Piagam Jakarta), or Syariat Islam. Whereas voters society no longer consider to the religious dimension, but more to the real problems", said him. It seems "rift of market" from the voter for Islamic political party has seized by moderate parties.

From all of that, my mind come to some conclusion below:
  1. In political matter, modern society more thinking (interested) to the real issue such as education, health, housing, economy, social guarantee, employment availability, corruption or clean government, tax policy, national stability, environment, etc.
  2. The higher the average education level of society, then they will be more critical in determining their choice. They no longer choosing based on "individual charm" but more seeing the vision, mission, and policy from a party. Maybe more interested to what has they done.
Are you have another conclusion? or seeing the differ cases with the same topic on other country? or maybe in your own country? Feel free to add it in comment.
If you interested to view the number of obtained vote for each participant party, on Indonesia Legislative Election 2009, please visit Pusat Tabulasi Pemilu Nasional 2009 (National Election Tabulation Center 2009) which managed by Komisi Pemilihan Umum / KPU (General Election Commission).

Pssst... there is some proverb in political world, that is: There is no eternal opponent or fellow, there is only eternal interests. -or- Politic is who gets what. Believes it or not.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dam Burst Tragedi and Three Important Notes

On Friday, March 27, 2009, Situ Gintung dam at Cirendeu, Tangerang, southeast of Jakarta, has broken-down and the water flooded like a small tsunami, washing away cars, houses and settlement area. Ninety nine people were killed and 102 others were missing (update the number of victims from www.kompas.com on Tuesday, March 31, 2009)

From all of that, I am interested with the three important notes that I find on a blog of Jusuf Kalla, who at this time as Vice President of Indonesia.

First, it is indeed the embankment that broken-down was caused by excessive water debit. Situ Gintung levee was originally built on Dutch colonial authorities era, only able to accommodate 1 million cubic of water, while the debit of water before the incident has reached 2 million cubic of water debit. There should be early warning for residents who live around the embankment when felt there was something that threatens the safety of citizens. In Situ Gintung actually already there, but work less well.

Second, allotment of land around the flood plains has been infringe the rules. If refer to the rules then there can be no building within 30 meters distance from flood plains, in order to become water absorption area if overflow occur unexpectedly. But, housing has been built in flood plains at Situ Gintung region, so there is no water absorption area and at the time the embankment (dam) broken then the water immediately flooding in settlement residents. Therefore he request that allotment of land around the flood plains all over Indonesia should be re-standardization, for the sake of safety for all of us.

Third, for people who live in areas prone to disaster, need to prepare emergency response system independently, which can be used when something happens while waiting for help from the authorities. In that way, the number of victim could be minimized.

I hope to re-standardization of flood plains can be done immediately. End of word, this is another "natural process" from God which can not be avoided, even though I feel very sad to know these disaster. All that we can do is using technology for early warning, prepare ourselves and give rapid-help to minimize the victim. What is your opinion about this?