Though the fatal fever swine flu was playing havoc with people's life in Telangana, the state government seems to be unconcerned in containing the spread of human influenza A (H1N1) which claimed more than 20 lives and over 100 infected in the last two months.
All the patients who died at Gandhi Hospital had co-morbid condition like heart and kidney ailments and lung infections. Most of them died of multi-organ failure within hours of arriving at Gandhi Hospital.
Health Minister T Rajaiah's OSD Dr Sampath maintained that vaccination is provided to only para-medical staff who deal with swine flu patients. reparation of the vaccine is a time-taking process. Since January as many as 119 swine flu cases were reported in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Of these, TS accounted for 115. The majority of those who died of swine flu are reportedly from Gandhi Hospital.
The state government does not seem to have got to the gravity of the health challenge otherwise it would have ensured adequate vaccine supplies to government hospitals. The vaccine is being administered only to the highly vulnerable sections like doctors and para-medical staff in government hospitals.
According to Swine Flu Coordinator (Gandhi Hospital) Dr Narasimhulu , no vaccination programme against swine flu was taken up in any of the government hospitals. However, private hospitals are administering vaccine by charging between Rs 450 to 850 per dose.
Swine flu, which is a 'notifiable' disease, makes it mandatory for the government to take up vaccination as part of preventive measures. All hospitals, private and government, should report cases brought to them to the health authorities concerned regularly.
With new cases being reported, many people are seeking vaccination at government hospitals. Gandhi, Osmania and Niloufer hospitals are flooded with phone calls every day to enquire about the vaccination. But there is no one to answer the queries of the callers.
Secondary hospitals in the district head quarters particularly in Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar districts were also receiving complaints on the suspected flu cases and people were insisting vaccination.