With Each Swine Flu Death the Claim for Good Health Governance in India stands Weak

Rakesh Manchanda

The officially announced 2015 death toll today is 842 and is still counting. Swine Flu does not pick the victim from groups like Rich-Poor or Hindu-Muslim. Why should UP High court scold Governments in their PIL hearing today for Swine Flu weak preparedness ? BJP acceptance of 1.55 crore donation from an Indian company trying to get its Swine flu vaccine approved is another untapped spin in Media.

What goes wrong when you shake hands with a Swine Flu suspect?
There is a grave possibility of transmission. An adult human body carries 70% fluids. Sweat , cold and cough droplet circulation via hand ensures a faster transfer of virus. Even using the same door handle by the victim can transmit the virus to new suspects.

As per a study H1N1 virus can stay alive for 24-48hrs on a door handle or any hard surface. On a tissue paper it remains for 15 minutes while on hand it parks for 30 minutes and on cloths for 8-12 hrs.

Swine Flu has less to do with eating meat or pigs but it has more to do with poor and corrupt health governance, weak regulations, rich-poor gap, unhygienic life style and unequal health expenditure.

Thanks to the New Delhi AAP government there is a check & freeze on the Swine Flu lab test charges with maximum limit of Rs.4500.Many reports indicate doctors overcharging in Max Hospital Dehradun. Cost of each disposable mask has gone up from Rs.5 to Rs.50.Black market and shortage of Tina Flu tabs continues outside Delhi.

After Mrs.& Mr. Obama-the Uranium and weapon Salesmen went back to America; the Swine Flu tide is on party in India. Hospitals are overcrowded and ICU are fully packed with 7 days isolation. There is a strange change in buzz. People are sad. You see no hand-shake, a hug and a passionate pat in lobbies. Schools are either closed or are banning collective gathers of prayers, sports events and outings etc. Uttrakhand government is giving funds to schools for regular hand wash habits in daily work after the death of a student in Dehradun.

America continues to spend as much as 9000 dollars per person per year wherein India expenditure on health is 3% of its GNP.

Thanks to the Modi Model there is a cut off 20% health budget. India today in Modi era is no more a proud low cost Pharma exporting nation of life saving medicines. Modi Model continues to sell false pride and equality dream of a superpower.

Obama take away from India was the unequal Nuclear `Sale` deal as, I had been discussing in my recent write ups. Obama left Indians with lessons on Religion, equality and make in India greetings called Namaste.

PM Modi wearing his famous London suit with pinstrips reading as Narender Damodar Das Modi reciprocated with a handshake instead of Namashkar.

Imagine a `No Handshake` hospital in modern times due to H1N1 fear?

Let us analyse understand the pattern of a more dangerous virus called Ebola with similar primary symptoms.

Ebola going global still with no cure is forcing today almost all 54 African nations to adopt a `No Handshake` Culture.

Indian greeting of `Namaskar` with folded hands or Chinese bow is more safe in Swine Flu and even during Ebola attack outside India.
H1N1 is the ultimate Indian test of cultural hygienic practices. Containing it is a matter of washing hands, covering cough, cold and using hygienic toilets, disposing used tissues and no spitting in public and so on.

If we do not have an effective garbage recycle plan as in India or in Africa, no sanitation system and no water purification plants in order and if we leave pigs and animal bodies out in the open for vultures to eat, then H1 N1 and Ebola like Virus will enjoy in full swing.

Doctors are helpless with 7 day isolation screening with no clear protocols. Hospital management are happy as the unhealthy season is delivering rush and rich collection. At times the primary symptoms of H1N1 and Pneumonia overlap and lab test reports take time.

Rich go to hospitals and come back after few days of getting monitored. Poor dare not go to hospital and volunteer for Swine Flu test as they are convinced it is curable. Careless attitude and negligence forces the victim to find that he is breathless and his lungs are damaged.

Funds for collective cure, preparedness, awareness in time to stop the chain of transmission can help outsmart this deadly virus once it slows down possibly before Holi with a change in weather as per past pattern.

Let us remain calm, promote Namaste, boost our immune system from self to the society for a better future and safer `desi` habits to overcome this manmade tragedy.

About author: Worked in African countries since 2006 and had been supporting International Red Cross, supporting awareness & education on Ebola Virus and worked with few NGOs as volunteer on Basic and Advance Life Support.