It is being reported that Indonesia and the US are getting close to a deal on sharing samples of the bird flu virus. This is a good thing presumably because it will allow for vaccines and treatments to be developed and the medicines and vaccines developed will be provided cheaply to developing nations.
This development is also interesting because it was only recently that the Indonesian Health Minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, claimed that the US was conspiring with the World Health Organization to force developing nations into buying expensive medicines, drugs, and vaccines. Her book, Saatnya Dunia Berubah, Tangan Tuhan di Balik Flu Burung (Time for World Change, The Hand of God Behind Bird Flu), ruffled a few feathers (pun intended)!
The book has been hotly debated in various blogs because not only were the US and WHO conspiring, but the US was also using the bird flu virus to create biological weapons. One for the conspiracy theorists out there!
But with only two Indonesian provinces being free from bird flu, then it is likely that Indonesia stands to gain from this arrangement providing both sides keep their promises and commitments to the other.