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Health Minister reviews preparedness of Gujarat on H1N1 Assures full Central assistance

Union Health Minister Shri J P Nadda chaired a high level meeting to review preparedness of Gujarat for H1N1 and to discuss various health issues, at Gandhinagar today. Present at the meeting were Shri Nitinbhai Patel, Health Minister, Gujarat; Shri Shankarbhai Chaudhari, MoS, Health, Gujarat and senior officers of the Gujarat Government including Shri Anil Mukim, Principal Secretary (Health) and Shri J P Gupta, Commissioner (Health).

The Union Minister reviewed the work being carried out for creating awareness regarding the preventive measures against H1N1. He expressed satisfaction that MPs, MLAs, local public representatives along with school teachers, anganwadi workers and ASHAs are supporting the awareness drive carried out in the 14 districts affected with H1N1. It was stated that the awareness drive has been further intensified with special screening OPDs for those suffering from influenza like illness (ILI) at places such as mass gatherings, house to house survey and contact tracing by trained health workers in four districts of Kutch, Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara which share of the burden of total cases in the state. More than 17 lakh persons have been covered under the drive. The Health Minister was informed that teams of health officials are visiting hospitals to verify facilities and adherence to treatment protocols and universal precautions for infection control.

Union Health Minister also reviewed the preparedness in terms of number of testing kits, personal protective equipment, labs, anti-virals and isolation wards. The state officers presented that Gujarat has state of the art diagnostic facilities. They are conducting tests free of charge for those suspected of H1N1, seeking treatment either from the government or private health facilities. At present, five diagnostic labs can test samples; total of 1707 samples have been tested this year, it was informed. In addition to the cases from the state, it was stated that as many as 90 patients from neighbouring states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Silvassa exhibiting symptoms of H1N1 have been tested and treated. To cater to the need more than 471 beds for treatment of indoor patients have been kept reserved in various secondary and tertiary health care centers in state. The Union Health Minister assured all necessary assistance from the Centre to manage H1N1.

Shri J P Nadda also visited hospitals to take a first-hand review of the prevailing facilities for managing H1N1. He visited the Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, and took a round of the Cancer, Ophthalmology and Nephrology hospitals.

The Union Health Minister also discussed other health issues including Ebola during the meeting.

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