Polyclinic seeks help from WHO to treat influenza

Officials say they are only sending samples of those patients to NIH who have history of chronic diseases


Our Correspondent January 23, 2018
Around 159 cases were reported while 35 lost their lives in one month in Punjab PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: As a wave of influenza grips parts of the country, a hospital in the federal capital has sought help from the world health body owing to shortage of medicine in the market.

The Federal Government Services Hospital, Polyclinic, has purchased medicine through the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the treatment of influenza (H1N1) owing to the prevailing shortage of medicine.

Polyclinic Executive Director Dr Zahid Larik on January 13 had written to the WHO to arrange for Capsule Tami Flu (75mg) for treating influenza patients streaming into the hospital.

On his request, the world health body procured and provided the hospital with the medicine. However, the hospital was only provided doses sufficient for only 40 patients.

The hospital gets around 150 to 200 patients every day complaining of flu and fever, said Polyclinic’s Dr Sharif Astori.

“But we only send the sample of those to the National Institute of Health for diagnosis who suffer from high fever, chest infections and have a background of chronic disease before starting treatment,” he said, adding that of the patients they have received so far, only eight had tested positive for influenza.

Hospitals in Islamabad have been receiving a large number of patients with complaints of flu, fever and infections. According to the NIH, over 50 patients have been confirmed to be suffering from influenza while at least one death from the virus has been recorded until the second week of January.

The NIH has so far received around 2,666 samples from people suspected to be suffering from influenza across the country. Of these, around 928 were confirmed to be suffering from the virus.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2018. 

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