H1N1 Scare

December 1, 2017 EDITORIAL 236 Views
H1N1 Scare

Who should be blamed mess in healthcare sector? The Jammu and Kashmir government is in slumber over the healthcare issues cropping up in the State, especially in Kashmir region. While the Ministers are stationed in Jammu, the winter capital of the State, the Kashmir region remains highly unattended and the people suffer because of the lack of synergy among the government machinery. For instance, H1N1 scare in the region. Director SKIMS, Dr A G Ahangar, in a press conference recently said that there is a higher risk of the spread of viral infections like H1N1 infection in autumn and winter months when the average temperature is low. The director also appealed the people of Kashmir not to panic and take extra precautions to avoid the infection. There have been different reports and evaluations by health care experts that point to the same fact – H1N1 infection may get worse over time. The director also advised that the high risk patients should get vaccinated. While the director has suggested surge in such infections, still it is not clear whether it can turn epidemic, in which case the health care in the state needs to be fully prepared. There are many concerns that need to be taken into account post haste. The high risk patients would certainly need vaccines, but who would keep track of it and does the state have adequate supply if need arises? With counterfeit and spurious drugs easily available over the counters, the culprits who trade in them may also get into producing these vaccines. SKIMS cannot bear the patient load, particularly when a huge number of patients get referred to the hospital. Since the care is available at this hospital, how would the health department or government for that matter prevent any outbreak in near future? At a primary healthcare, the doctors know how to treat the infected patients. But will the same measures be taken and strictly followed to prevent the spread by vaccinating all those who may come in contact with the infected patients. Few years ago a number of reports suggested the outbreak of Hepatatis-C in south Kashmir villages. But for weeks and even months the health department did not even acknowledge it. When they did, the then director Health Services said that they needed Rs 9-11 crores to treat the patients. 787 cases were identified when the director said that they have sought assistance from central government. The government should stop playing with the lives of people in Kashmir and start taking care of the healthcare felicities in the region.

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