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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Trinidad & Tobago : 2009 swine flu plan reactivated

Via News Day :

IN AN effort to control the spread of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus, the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) yesterday announced a fully reactivated plan instituted in 2009 by the Ministry of Health to deal with the problem.

SWRHA acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Shivand Gopeesingh told Newsday the decision was taken at an executive meeting which included all stakeholders. In 2009, a National Plan was established which called for every hospital to have its own micro plan and be guided by the national plan.

It also included health services being prepared with an operational response plan to the hospitals and the counties which will address the surge capacity that might build up during a pandemic scenario. Each hospital was also required to have a capacity of between 20-40 beds to deal specifically with the virus.

It also stated that there must be a trained qualified professional to manage the patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and high-dependency units and there must be an increase in the stock pile of personal protective equipment at hospitals, health centres and also nursing homes. Community health services were also expected to increase patient intake capacity.

“We met this morning and we have upgraded our plans and sensitised everybody. We also did an analysis and we are going to improve on the situation. We have identified areas, protocols for giving medication and reactivated the 2009 plan,” Gopeesingh said.

He again called for the population not to panic since “we are doing our best.” About the two patients confirmed to be suffering with the H1N1 virus, Gopeesingh said they remain warded at the Intensive Care Unit of the San Fernando General Hospital in “critical condition."

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