Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Arogyasri mantra will not kill swine flu virus: Dr. JP

The rapid spread of swine flu in Andhra Pradesh has exposed the crisis in the State’s health care sector which is bedeviled by the absence of vaccination programs, universal health coverage, and adequate availability of medical and nursing staff and drugs, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here today.

Unable to confront the crisis head on, the Chief Minister continued to chant the Arogyasri mantra as if it were a panacea for public health, he told the media.

Dr. JP said that the number of beds in both the public and private sectors did not exceed 1.5 lakh whereas the flu was expected to affect up to two crore people in about a year. Against this backdrop the Government should launch a campaign to educate the public on several aspects. First, although swine flu spreads fast and affects many, it does not endanger the lives of all barring those suffering from other health disorders. Second, the medicine for swine flu – Tamiflu – should not be used indiscriminately without medical supervision as it can kill healthy cells too. Third most masks in the market do not provide protection against swine flu. Fourth migration to rural areas will not save people from the virus which spreads through air.

Dr. JP demanded that vaccines for swine flu be imported on a war footing and administered to health care employees numbering not more than 30,000 throughout the State. Priority should be given to vulnerable sections like pregnant women, children, the aged and those with impaired immune systems in vaccination. Care should be taken to ensure that politicians did not hijack the vaccines.

Dr. JP wanted the Government to introduce universal health coverage on the lines of the National Health Service in the U. K. to provide quality treatment to all for all diseases and disorders in all hospitals at affordable rates.

1 comment:

  1. I do agree with DR.JP, Arogysri is not entirely effective and alternate for the public health. I work as a pharmacist in a South African public hospital. I feel so sad about our general hospital services in Andhra Pradesh. Except Polio vaccination programme, I do not see any other successful health programme in A. P. In my personal experience hospital pharmacies in our public sector are just there for "name sake". Regarding to supply of medicines, medical info, running health care programmes and other pharmaceutical services are far better in South African public sector than in AP public sector hospitals. Its time for loksatta to come up with appropriate solutions. Hope we all give a hand in the brain storming on health issues