Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Friday said that in view of swine flu (H1N1) outbreak in the valley and with no let up in the impact of virus, it has set up round the clock helpline numbers for public awareness.
“People can call and get information on 09697988866, 09419409866, 09086889191, 09906832097, 09796337171, 09596251400 and 09469154840. Communicators on these helpline numbers are expert doctors and will address public concerns on swine flu from today,” a spokesperson of the DAK said in a statement to KNS.
“People can seek advice on symptoms, prevention, treatment, testing and vaccination,” he said.
President DAK and H1N1 expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan said that effective communication to public in an outbreak is vital to prevent the spread of disease and is an intervention in its own right.
“Public during an outbreak is entitled to credible and consistent information to build trust which is critical for hastening containment of outbreak. DAK helpline numbers will address public anxiety and panic created by distrust of health officials who concealed information and failed to protect public health,” he said.
“Vaccination against H1N1 virus has to be prioritized for high risk persons like pregnant women, persons who live with or care for children younger than 06 months, diabetics, chronic lung or kidney disease, asthmatics, children below 05 years, elderly and health care workers. Once the demand for vaccine for these target groups is met then everybody should begin vaccinating,” he added.
Dr Hassan said children younger than 10 years should receive two doses of H1N1 vaccine separated by 04 weeks and infants younger than six months are too young to get any influenza vaccine.