H1N1 Vaccines

H1N1 Vaccines
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The name of the game in preventing contagious and even fatal disease(s) is pre-emptive and preventative care. This holds salience in Kashmir at a time when incidences of Swine Flu have been reported here and even a few deaths have taken place on account of this. But, unfortunately, the health authorities here are underprepared for the outbreak of this potentially fatal disease. There is a dearth of vaccines(H1N1) to combat Swine Flu in the hospitals of Kashmir. Patients have been advised to buy the vaccine from the open market. Swine Flu, it may be pointed out, is in the nature of a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses which can potentially morph and mutate and be transmitted to humans. Perhaps the best antidote to this disease is pre-emptive vaccination. In a context like Kashmir, where people do not take hygiene very seriously and where health hazards abound, the incidence(s) of swine flu can escalate. It is therefore prudent and important that anticipatory and pre-emptive measures are taken before the flu becomes a menace. It may be recalled that in 2009, there was a pandemic of Swine Flu and many people died as a result. This is not to alarm but put matters into perspective. Before it acquires proportions of a Public Health Emergency, it is imperative that the public health authorities of Kashmir wake up to the nature of the problem and take pre-emptive measures. These could take the form of informing and educating the populace about the nature of the disease, steps and measures to be taken and, above all, provision of H1N1 vaccines to the people. It remains a statement of the obvious that public health provision in Kashmir remains sub par- both on account of the supply as well as the demand side. While admittedly, because of the high demographic pressure on the health infrastructure of Kashmir- soft and hard- there are coping up issues involved, but prudent , effective and efficient management can go ways in, at least, preventing preventable and other forms of disease. Given the seriousness of Swine Flu, it is incumbent and imperative upon public health authorities of Kashmir to move swiftly and surely in taking measures to prevent the outbreak of this disease. The first and foremost step in this direction , to repeat the obvious, is to make H1N1 vaccines available to the general populace, at the earliest!

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