Hospitals get equipments for H1N1

KATHMANDU: Avian Influenza Control Project (AICP) has distributed seven sets of equipments to various hospitals nationwide to carry out the diagnosis and combat severe cases of Pandemic Influenza (H1N1).

The move that came before Tihar, follows recent cases of H1N1 detected in the community, said Dr Jeetendra Man Shrestha, Deputy Coordinator, AICP.

Many of those new cases were seen in people who did not have any travel history, he said.

"It is impossible to test the samples from each and every people suffering from common cold given the constraint in time and budget," he said, adding, "Unavailability of skilled human resources has added to the already baffling problem."

However, Shrestha said that all the confirmed cases of swine flu have fully recovered and that there was no severe case recorded thus far.

However, he said that the diagnosis being carried out at the lab has fallen through for want of more budget.

He said that the rapid test kit is less than 50 percent reliable.

Talking to The Himalayan Times, Shrestha said that the best strategy to cope with the diseases is 'non-premedical special intervention' where patients could be treated at home.

"But should severe symptoms persists, people should consult health centres," he cautioned.

Government officials also said that the cases seen in Chitwan recently were not only of swine flu, but some other diseases.

Dr Vishwo Raj Khanal, senior epidemiologist at the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) under Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) said that they had recorded three cases from random sampling.

Samples from patients admitted at the OPD of Bir Hospital, TU Teaching Hospital, Kanti Children's Hospital and Patan Hospital were tested.

Sources at the Ministry of Health and Population confirmed that the government has to its dispoal some 36,000 courses of antiviral, 100,000 disposable masks, 20,000 surgical gloves and 3,000 respiratory masks stock pilling with MoHP.

As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Health and Population has appealed everyone to remain within one meter distance away from suspected people. The Ministry has urged the denizens to wash hand regularly with soap and to cover face with handkerchief while coughing and sneezing.