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SRINAGAR: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Sunday urged health authorities in Kashmir to provide free swine flu vaccine to high risk groups like elderly, children younger than 5 years of age, pregnant women and persons with medical conditions. “Free vaccination will increase vaccine uptake that would protect these vulnerable individuals from dying” said DAK President and flu expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a communiqué.

He said 120 people have come down with flu so far this season in Kashmir valley with eleven deaths and most of these deaths were unvaccinated. DAK President said while flu vaccination is recommended for all, it is especially important for high risk groups who are prone to complications, hospitalization and even death. He said most of our population is unvaccinated and cost is the barrier. One flu vaccine costs Rs 1400. High cost of vaccine keeps them out of reach for people.

Dr Nisar said unprotected individuals not only risk themselves, but they put the health of whole community at risk He cautioned swine flu virus has undergone a change and it is likely to infect more people. “We can’t predict how it will behave and what will happen in coming days,” he added. Dr Nisar said this year’s vaccine has been updated to protect against the mutated swine flu strain.

“For this flu season, quadrivalent vaccine containing four flu virus strains (two A subtypes and two B subtypes – H1N1 and H3N2, and Victoria and Yamagata respectively) is recommended,” he informed. Dr Nisar said vaccination is the best way to protect you and people around you from getting flu. “Ideally, people should get vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated later can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season even into January or later,” he advised.

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  • Lauds healthcare services being provided by Charitable Hospital

JAMMU: Governor Satya Pal Malik participated in the celebrations of the 156th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda Ji coupled with the 49th annual day of Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission Charitable Hospital (SVMMCH), Ambphalla, here today. Paying rich tributes to the great thinker and philosopher, Swami Vivekananda Ji, the Governor observed that Swami Vivekananda had great vision who lived a life of a saint and worked selflessly for the betterment of the society. He said that our youth should seek inspiration from his teachings.

Lauding the healthcare services being provided by the Charitable hospital, Governor observed that the establishment of such a hospital was a befitting tribute to the philosophy of practical Vedanta, which was advocated by Swamiji. Governor appreciated Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta, President SVMMCH and its governing body for its devoted endeavours by starting a one-room dispensary about five decades ago and making it a well-run hospital today. He lauded the efforts of the governing body for providing medical and diagnostic facilities, particularly to the poor, on highly subsidized rates or free of cost. He urged the society to contribute magnanimously for the noble cause so that it could do the best for alleviating the sufferings of the poor and the disadvantaged.

Presenting the annual report of SVMMCH for the year 2018-19, Sh. Atma Swaroop Gupta, informed that the institution organized free medical, dental check-up and BMD camps from time to time. As many as 72894 OPD, 56723 X-ray, USG and ECG, besides 1969 surgeries were conducted during the period, he added. Welcoming the Chief Guest, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, former Union Minister and president of SVMMCH, briefed the gathering about the functioning of the hospital and its future plans. He said that the charitable hospital has been providing better healthcare to needy. He also appreciated the doctors and paramedics of the charitable hospital for extending healthcare with devotion and dedication. Among those present on the occasion were faculty members, para-medics and prominent citizens.

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SRINAGAR: As swine flu raises its ugly head once again in Kashmir valley with sixty-nine positive cases and seven deaths so far this season, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday advised people to take precautions to protect themselves from getting flu. “Simple precautions would help prevent the spread of flu,” said DAK President and flu expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a communiqué.

He said covering your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing and washing your hands with soap and water will keep you and people around you healthy and well. “People should avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands,” he added. “If you are down with flu, stay home for at least 24 hours after you’re symptom-free (unless you need to receive care),” Dr Nisar said.

 He said wearing a mask will prevent transmission of flu virus from infected person to others as well as protect caregiver from picking up an infection.  Dr Nisar said people should drink plenty of fluids and take adequate sleep and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. “Swine flu, also known as H1N1 virus is a contagious viral infection of respiratory tract that spreads from person to person through the inhalation of respiratory droplets. Symptoms of flu include fever, cough, sorethroat, runny nose and bodyaches,” he said.

“Elderly, children under the age of five years, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions are prone to develop serious complications from flu,” he informed. “It is not too late to get a flu shot. It can be given as long as the flu is circulating. If you haven’t yet, go get it,” suggested Dr Nisar. “If you are vulnerable to severe flu, see your doctor as soon as flu symptoms start, as early treatment with antiviral drugs can help prevent complications,” he said.