Thursday, December 8
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Sindh Govt decided to procure vaccine, kits for H1N1 influenza

KARACHI: Sindh Health Department has decided to procure 20,000 doses of Trivalent (preventive vaccines against H1N1 virus), diagnostic material and kits on urgent basis while the WHO & Unicef will also be requested to provide 80,000 dozes of the vaccine.

This was decided in meeting chaired by the Special Secretary Health, Akram Ali Khowaja to cope up with and initiate the measures for the prevention of the predicted epidemic situation in Sindh.

The representatives from WHO, Health Department and other public and private actors attended the meeting held other day in Karachi.

The H1N1 (swine flu pandemic) strain, has affected 38 people in less than a month in Karachi.

A recent outbreak of H1N1 influenza has been paid the prompt attention by the officials from the Sindh Health Department which has come up with the strategy to prevent prevalence of the disease in the province.

“We are taking all possible measures to ensure that no such incidence could occur in the Sindh. We are regularly monitoring the situation and collecting information from Hospitals on daily basis. In case there are reports for such cases, rigorous measures would be taken in the vicinity and the necessary arrangements will be safeguarded,” said Khowaja during the meeting.

“For the investigation of particular cases, the Provincial Disease Surveillance Response Unit (PDSRU) and Regional Disease Surveillance Response Team (RDSRU) have been activated. PDSRU will cover the rural areas of Sindh while RDSRU will cover the region of Karachi. Awareness Campaigns through different plate forms including newspaper, electronic and social media will be launched immediately.

An Advisory for Prevention and Control of Influenza will also be communicated to general masses through different medium. The hospitals will display banners, pamphlets and posters in the premises,” Khowaja added.

The forum decided to procure 20,000 doses of Trivalent (preventive vaccines against H1N1 virus), diagnostic material and kits on urgent basis. The WHO & Unicef will also be requested to provide 80,000 dozes of the vaccine. The isolation rooms shall be established / activated at Taluka Headquarter / District Headquarter Hospitals and other teaching hospitals, Khowaja concluded.

During the meeting, Director General Health Dr Akhlaque Ahmed Khan said that all the public and private hospitals will furnish ‘Zero Reporting’ on daily basis to the department and there shall be ‘Control Rooms’ at all districts headquarters and DG offices which will be monitored by the senior official of the Department.

The meeting was also attended by Dr Sharifa Akhtar, PTL – WHO Sindh; Dr Tahir Aziz Shaikh, DHSK; Dr Kamran Rizvi, Deputy Director Preventive DHSK; Dr M. Asif Syed, Technical Officer; and Dr. S Zafar Mehdi, Officer on Special Duty.