EDITORIAL: Take it seriously

The government should do everything possible to take both preventive and curative measures to fight swine flu

Cases of swine flu are being reported from various parts of the country. H1N1 influenza which is also known as swine flu can lead to death and serious health problems.

Therefore, people who show symptoms of the disease should visit hospitals and nearest health centres as quickly as possible. Doctors also advise people to avoid crowds as far as possible and also handshakes and hugging and even to wear masks.

This is a communicable disease capable of spreading rapidly; therefore, all necessary precautions should be taken. Swine flu cases have been reported over the years and little is being done to save people from this deadly disease. Prevention is always better than cure.

Those most prone to the disease are the children and the elderly who are above 65 years old.

Those who have to take extra precaution not to contract swine flu are those who have had organ transplantation, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis-infected and those with diabetes, among other illnesses. So far, the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division of the Department of Health Services has reported six deaths from the dreaded disease this year.

If necessary preventive measures are not taken then it is very likely that more people will suffer from this disease. Blood samples of patients with symptoms of swine flu have been tested and alarmingly many patients tested positive. It is recommended that all suspicious cases and particularly the samples from seriously ill patients should be tested for swine flu.

For this there should be more laboratories to conduct the tests in the hospitals and health centres too if possible.  This could be only the tip of the iceberg and more people particularly in the remote areas have contracted the disease and do not get necessary treatment. It is now feared that there will be more cases of swine flu.

There is a vaccine to prevent swine flu but very few take the vaccine. It might be necessary for all those at high risk of contracting the disease to take the vaccine.

More such vaccines should be imported and provided in various health centres.

The people are required to be vigilant as the disease is surfacing in various parts of the nation. Of the six who have died from this disease this year two were from Kaski, and one each from Syangia, Lalitpur, Nawalparasi and Kathmandu districts.

Those who have already contracted swine flu should be kept isolated so as to prevent the flu from spreading and infecting more people. As swine flu usually occurs when there is poor hygiene, the environment should be kept clean.

Therefore, all the people should know about the advantages from cleanliness as it would help immensely in preventing more people from contracting the virus, which is sadly taking place now. At present, there are many critically ill people with swine flu in various hospitals in the country and also health centres and every day more and more people are visiting them.

This has become a serious health problem along with other diseases that have been taking a heavy toll. Meanwhile, the people should be provided proper treatment and diagnosis.

Therefore, the government should do everything possible to take both preventive and curative measures to fight swine flu. Budget, vaccine and other essential things should not be cited by officials as hindrances in this fight.

Child labour

Child labour is banned in Nepal, as the country has signed the related international conventions, and its constitution and laws also ban the employment of child labour and provide for punishment for breaching the law.

Therefore, those who employ child labour should be subject to punishment and those who do not use child labour should be encouraged. In this regard, Vice President Nanda Kishor Pun awarded eight child-labour-free brick kilns of the country.

But there are more than 1,200 brick kilns in the country with more than two lakh workers, out of which 30,000 are estimated to be child workers.

Giving an award to factories which do not use child labour has no harm as it tends to encourage employers to avoid using children as workers. But are all the other brick kilns using child labour? If they are, they should be punished. If they are not, why were the others not selected for the award?

It seems from reports that many brick kilns, eateries or factories are still using child labour in some way.

The more effective way to discourage child labour would be to find out organizations which use child labour and bring them to book.