Belarusian medical officer Mikalai Shaulau wrote an open letter to people of Belarus.
Mikalai Shaulau is an infectious disease specialist, an associate professor at the department of infectious diseases of Belarusian Academy of Postgraduate Medical Education.
The medical officer gave an interview to charter’97.org website and explained why he decided to express his opinion on swine flu in Belarus: “I decided to unburden my mind. Medicals have one clear position. You may ask any emergency physician who has dealt with today’s pneumonia, and you will understand that his position differs mush from that of the Health Ministry.”
The website charter’97.org published the letter of Mikalai Shaulau:
“An epidemic is spreading an infectious disease exceeding the normal disease rate in a particular area,” Mikalai Shaulau writes. “A pandemic is an epidemic that spreads over a very wide area.
Ire has been flaring in the country for the second month: the flu pandemic has swept through the country revealing again the putridity of out healthcare system and our complete vulnerability.
I met this problem for the first time on Sunday November 25, when I visited a council of physicians in the intensive care unit of hospital #6. Watching first cases of unusual pneumonia course, I told the chief pulmonologist of the Health Ministry of Belarus that we had faced atypical pneumonia and outlined the measures should be taken. My colleague promised to report on this to the Ministry next day. I don’t know what happened later, I do not have ties with the Ministry. I was ill for two weeks. During that time I received information from medical officers from different Belarusian towns, but couldn’t find anything clear on the website of the Ministry of Health. Having returned to work after the disease, I presented detailed positions to the chief infectious disease specialist of Health Ministry. I heard in response that measures had already been taken and the number of flu cases was decreasing. ‘Everything Quiet in Baghdad”.
The only thing the Ministry of Health could demonstrate was chronic lies. By this epidemic the Ministry again showed the people that people must scare this institution. Let’s put a question: why do the people who must protect our health, our life lie to us? The answer is simple: this is because they are afraid.
Fear is a negative emotion, it paralyzes will and doesn’t allow to make adequate decisions. In what century and in what country do we live? A chronic epidemic of fear, begun in Stalin’s times, continues in the 21st century. The flu pandemic will end sooner or later – this is the law of nature. But how to treat the fear epidemic is a personal decision. Only by joint efforts we will be able to defeat fear and start a new life under laws of civilized society.
Being a doctor, I offer an anti-fear formula, which doesn’t need to be approved by the Ministry of Health. We need to live in accordance with simple principles – we must be honest, adhere to principles, struggle against incompetence in all areas. In other words, we must live in harmony with our conscience. Then we will be able to trust one another and together find solutions to problems. People regardless of their status must give an honest answer to themselves: Will they be able to live according to these principles? Then we won’t look for enemies in the Ministry of Health or elsewhere because we will trust one another and believe everyone does his best at work.
I hope I can live to see this time...”