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THT 10 years ago: Nepal wakes up to threat of deadly pneumonia

  

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: Now that the WHO and several countries have issued directives to avoid travelling to the territories where Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has been detected, Nepal is also taking precautions to ensure that it doesn’t enter the country. “We have set up a health advice desk at the international airport, manned by health officials to screen all incoming passengers,” said Padam Bahadur Chand, director general, department of epidemiology and disease control. A total of 79 deaths and 2,270 infections have been reported in the five countries where it has been detected: Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada and China, where it is said to have originated. To ensure that the disease does not enter the country, the department of health services decided that incoming passengers of international flights would be under scrutiny. “They will be asked to fill forms and report anything suspicious about their health. Those found with SARS symptoms will be rushed to Teku hospital, where arrangements to tackle the disease have been made,” said Chand. A special meeting of the chiefs of central hospitals of Kathmandu valley was held today and advisories with symptoms of the disease were sent to all hospitals and healthcare providers in the city so that it could be identified and patients isolated and treated.


Light shed on behavioural changes


KATHMANDU: A formative survey and evaluation on Behaviour Communicable Change (BCC) was conducted by Nepal Family Health Programme (NFHP), which discussed the issues of family planning, safe motherhood, child health and HIV/AIDS. The study also showed that social factor played an important role in health intervention. The survey was done on five districts of Terai to determine knowledge, attitudes, behaviours, interpersonal communications and media habits of women of reproductive age, their husbands and mother-in-laws on issues like family planning, maternal and child health and also to understand the barriers to addressing unmet needs. The survey showed that 98.46 per cent of the respondents were aware of family planning and most of them knew family planning methods. “The survey showed a total of 95.4 per cent women of reproductive health were aware of the issues compared to only 83.1 per cent of men,” said Shailes Neupane, executive director of Valley Research Group (VaRG). Similarly, the survey on child health showed that 67.91 per cent of the respondents have heard of malnutrition. “The survey showed that both women of reproductive age and their husbands were equally aware of malnutrition and said lack of protein and nutritious food caused it.”

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