India plans to prepare better against swine flu epidemic

2nd Nov 2015
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The Health Ministry has issued revised vaccination and clinical management guidelines to the state governments, while reviewing the preparedness for seasonal Influenza (H1N1). “Necessary directions have been issued related to procurement, training, issuing of advisories and guidelines for the state government to review the preparedness for tackling seasonal Influenza (H1N1),” Health Minister JP Nadda said.


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“We are monitoring the situation on real time basis. A control room has already been set up and is fully functional now. We have also rolled out a nationwide awareness campaign on Seasonal Influenza (H1N1),” he said. The Ministry officials said that 10,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and 5,000 N95 masks are being procured by Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). The process of procurement of at least 3 lakh tablets of Oseltamivir 75 Mg and 1 lakh syrups is already underway.

“We have assured full support to the state governments. In fact, the Ministry has already issued three advisories to the state governments over the last one month and held a video conference with them to review their strategy and plans,” they said. The officials noted that there was sufficient stock of drugs, testing kits and masks and around 7,000 diagnostic kits have already been distributed among various government laboratories and 15,000 more kits will be provided to them.

“We have also received information on logistics from 18 states. I am monitoring the situation closely,” Nadda said. “The process for training of Master Trainers on ventilator management will be completed in the first half of November which will ensure sufficient capacity for the health care workers for managing critical patients,” he said. Nadda directed the Central government institutions to earmark sufficient number of beds for H1N1 patients with additional capacity which may be used quickly whenever required.

Four Central government hospitals in Delhi Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC), All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Safdarjung- have already earmarked beds for H1N1 patients.

Image Credit: Shuterstock


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