The Health Ministry turned out to be unprepared for the outbreak of disease – medicines haven’t been bought, there is no vaccine, and doctors are made to write in case-records that pneumonia is a complication of a usual flu.
“Mortality connected with pneumonia has been studied in laboratory, and recent cases as well,” said the head of first medical assistance department of the Health Ministry Liudmila Zhylevich during “Vybar” (Choice) program on ONT channel. “We are carrying out a monitoring of the situation constantly, and the results show that it is a mixed infection. It should be said that development of the disease is graver then usual now.
As said by Zhylevich, the reason of the disease’s dissemination is carelessness of Belarusians towards their health, especially among the young.
But is it true?
Sources of “Zavtra tvoej strany” newspaper say that pneumonia mows down even those who were in hospitals, under the supervision of health experts. Besides, the course of the disease is atypical, and won't respond to treatment, even by antibiotics of the third generation.
“First there is fever, and then within 7-8 hours pulmonary edema develops,” a professor of one of hospitals said. “Antibiotics do not help, as lungs are simply burnt. Moreover, as said by the doctor, laboratory research in the Hygiene and epidemiology centre have confirmed that pneumonia of te patients of this hospital had been caused by А(Н1N1) flu.
“But we have been warned that this information won’t be recorded officially,” the interlocutor said. “In the case record we are to write that the pneumonia was a complication of the usual seasonal flu”.
Since Monday in some hospitals of Minsk where cases of atypical pneumonia had been recorded, planned operations and visits of inmates by relatives have been banned. Doctors have been given a Belarusian drug Arpetol as a preventive measure.
“We analysed the situations in our hospital,” the Professor says, “and we have come to a conclusion that the rate of swine flu is concealed, as the Health Ministry is not ready for the epidemic. Instead of buying and supplying pharmacies with effective Tamiflu and Relensa drugs, to care for vaccination against swine flu, and explain the population how and when these medicines should be used, we had been soothed for a long time, that swine flu course is the same as the usual flu, and that usual, not pandemic flu outbreak is expected in Belarus.
In reality, as the practice shows, Tamiflu and Relensa have helped thousands of patients worldwide to cure swine flu. But Relensa is not registered in Belarus at all. And you can't get Tamiflu for love or money. Despite of the fact that one package of Tamilflu (10 pills) costs about $40, it has been sold out in just a few days. New supplies are expected in the end of the week, Roche pharmaceutical company representatives in Belarus say.
The doctor believes that the Health Ministry should provide the expensive medicine to hospitals.
“Health professionals should have all the means for treatment of patients at hand, and not people are decide what and when they should take,” the interlocutor of “Zavtra tvoej strany” said.
As for swine flu vaccine, the situation is extremely strange. First it was said that the vaccine was being developed in Belarus, and it would be ready soon. But later at a press-conference acting director of the Republican Scientific and Practical centre of epidemiology and microbiology Alyaksandr Pyatkevich informed that vaccine against A(H1N1) flu is not developed in Belarus at all. As said by him, there is an agreement that Russia would become the main supplier of the vaccine. A(H1N1) vaccine is to be received by Belarus in the end of November-December.
Pharmacies of Belarus recently experienced disruptions in supply of such an elementary protection mean as masks. These products are imported into the country from China and Estonia. The issue of organising own manufacturing of protective masks is still under consideration. The Republican unitary enterprise Belpharmatsyja has offered that to Belarusian manufacturers of gauze and other bandaging materials. Baranavichy cotton plant responded to that. It plant to produce the necessary number of protective masks within 10 days – 2 weeks. So far the Health Ministry recommends Belarusians to make masks themselves.