This year, Maharashtra has been experiencing a major outbreak of swine flu. In 2017, until mid-August , 2017, a total of 3,750 swine flu cases and 418 swine flu deaths have been reported in the state. In order to prevent the spread of swine flu, the Maharashtra government has sought the central government’s help in providing swine flu vaccine. Till 16th of August 32,416 people have been vaccinated for swine flu in Maharashtra.
“We have asked the central government to provide swine flu vaccines, as it was provided by them earlier. However, there is no need to worry about the availability of the vaccine. We have enough stock of vaccination available with us,” said Dr Satish Pawar, Directorate of Health Services (DHS).
In addition to vaccines, the Maharashtra government has also asked the Centre to increase the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) budget in order to spread more awareness about the prevention of swine flu. “We have very less budget to spread awareness about the preventive methods of swine flu. That’s why; the central government should increase our IEC budget. We want to take some more projects to reach out to people,” Dr Pawar added.
In comparison with the last few years, there is a multifold rise in swine flu cases. Last year, 2016, was called a silent year by the health officials as throughout the year as many as 82 infection cases and 26 deaths due to swine flu were registered. While talking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Pawar assured that the hospitals have ample stocks of medications and personal protective devices.
There is a major outbreak of swine flu in Gujarat as well. It is Maharashtra’s neighbouring state. Swine flu has claimed as many as 230 lives and 2,272 cases of swine flu have been recorded in Gujarat since January. According to media reports, Gujarat government has asked the Centre to send a team in the state to take stock of the situation which will also recommend preventive measures for the spread of the infection.