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Govt. is not serious about the spread of H1N1 virus to the common people

by IT Web Admin
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By Wahengbam Rorrkychand
Swine flu is now a threat to the peaceful coexistence among the people of the state. After the death of a confirmed case from Bamol Leikai in Imphal West, school vans were reported to be reluctant of collecting children from the locality, and they have reason for doing so as the authority haven’t relayed any form of concrete knowledge about the new threat. As appeared at some of the major local dailies, even teachers’ body and some few parents had even draw the intention of the state government to declare holiday. When one does not know any in-depth understanding of the disease, the most safety means is perhaps avoiding their children from mixing up with others which might carry the virus. And there is guarantee to identify who carries the virus, so perhaps the best way is to stay away from it.Health department authority including the Health Director, other doctors who were expert in the  field and those in the government like Health Minister Mr. Phungzathang Tonsin did know that not every people are vulnerable to the flu spread by H1N1 virus. But many who have heard that 2 people with confirmed case of swine flu died are in the state of dilemma without having much choice of what to do. Coz they are not provided with adequate knowledge of the disease. When ImphalTimes contact the Health directorate officials they said that they are doing their best by advertisement through media and also by monitoring it by forming a committee at the highest level.Mass media through newspaper and television is somewhat good , but it failed to convince all the readers sometimes. As many irrelevant advertisement which claimed to have cure AIDS, Cancer etc. which were not even approved by the concern authority also use to come.Manipur is far advance when it comes about IEC (information, Education and Communication) which is also an effective medium of mass media. And it is a fact that direct communication is the best way to convince. Direct communication is something that allows to way form of communication at which the messenger and receivers have the chances to exchange their views.Now the question is how many such direct communication programme regarding the spread of the virus has been conducted in the state of Manipur since the virus has been detected in March 5, 2015.It is also learnt that the authority at the state health department had spent some huge amount of money to some hand pick media for advertisement purpose which is hard to convince all the people.Health Minister Phungzathang as well as MLA Dr. I. Ibohalbi might have known about the remedies and fact of the swine flu as they had discussed it in yesterday Assembly session but what about the remaining uneducated class of people. Treatment portion can be discussed with the medical expert but what about the stigma and discrimination being meted out by sections of people due lack of proper understanding of the topic.It is a fact that the country has recorded around 1500 victims of swine flu (H1N1)and twenty times the number are currently suffering from it.Despite of repeated assurance to take up measures to fight H1N1 disease, so far the state government and state medical department has not taken any significant measures to prevent further infection.According to CMD of the private hospital, Dr Palin Khundongbam the first woman victim, who tested positive on March 5, had been referred to SHRI from the Regional Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) kept at the isolation ward of SHRI from March 3 after her heath condition had been worsen.Referring the patient from the Centre-run RIMS to private hospital SHRI shows the preparedness of the state government to fight the deadly virus? In this connection, the state government should investigate into the reason behind referring the woman to private hospital despite of having various super doctors and fully-equipped isolation wards two main public hospitals- RIMS and Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS).Since the state has no facility to conduct H1N1 infection, test samples of patients have to send at Ranbaxy’s SRL in Mumbai. It may takes not less than week’s time send the test samples and to receive the confirmation report from the laboratory. The confirmation report of another swine flu suspected women victim who died on the same day at SHRI has not yet arrived from Mumbai.According to report, a suspected swine flu patient from Bishnupur district is being treated at RIMS, while two others are under observation in their respective homes.Dr Palin also said that there are chances of having positive patients around us. Even the disease is curable we need to maintain personal hygiene to avoid contact with the virus.Despite from appealing people not to panic as swine flu is curable and sending out some messages through media, authority need to create mass awareness on H1N1. Medicines and protective masks have to be readily available across the state. Opening of isolation wards would not serve the purpose.Soon after the news about the death of positive swine flu victim in the state, people were seen rushing to chemists’ to procure protective masks and medicines. While visiting medical stores at some main areas of the city it has been reported that the demand for protective masks has increased many folds after the dead of the positive swine flu victim and there is not enough stock available at the market.One blaring example of lack of creating awareness on the disease is the stigma of untouchable. Discrimination of victim’s family members and treating the people of the area as untouchable is an unfortunate spill over impact of Swine flu. So, in order to prevent further outbreak and avoid such untoward incidents the government and concern government need to gear up soon with full measures to fight H1N1.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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