I am not a medical doctor, but several of my cousins who are uniformly tell me that we must take this one seriously, but are we? In the US, compared to Europe or Canada, so far only one percent of the population are pre-covered with medication and vaccine, if there is any against this deadly, catastrophic would-be plague, and in Iran?
Scanning through the Tehran dailies, I fail to see a national strategy on how to deal with the global pandemic if, god forbid, it breaks out soon. It is not enough to order a halt in hunting migratory birds and so on, or to stockpile medicine, a lot more is needed, and very urgently, following the footsteps of other governments. Negligence is simply not an option here.
So for the starter, the Iranian government should immediately allocate a substantial new sum of money for research and vaccination, and to call a conference attended by Iranian medical experts from abroad, as well as non-Iranians of course, to help prepare a national anti-flu plan.
The best known medications including Tamilflu are in short supply, and Iran should see to it that we get a huge stockpile of Tamilflu right away directly from the producer, Roche, in Switzerland.
And do we have enough masks and gloves and the medical supply in our hospitals to deal with tens of thousands of patients? Clearly not. So, the government should set up a whole new government infrastructure, a Flu epidemic emergency organization, to oversee the activities across Iran, including the timely distribution of medical supplies and transfer of patients, and when need be, the quarantine of places where the plague is endemic.
The new report by the US government on the pandemic predicts riots at vaccine centers, critical food shortages, etc., and for Iran it would be no different if the epidemic breaks out. To minimize the risk of societal disruptions, a conscientious effort at public education must be launched immediately, to educate the people about the disease and how to prevent it.
And since according to many experts, the conventional flu vaccine may actually help, as trying to remain healthy, and so on, preventive action is the best remedy. This requires a mini-army of health workers sent to the four corners of Iran to assemble people and teach them, even door to door if need be, about this. Do we have such an army of health workers? The answer clearly is a resounding no.
Again, everything I have read about the pandemic indicates that in all likelihood it is a matter of time before it breaks out, and I have even heard of rumors of cover-up by world governments who already know this fact but to keep the world out of panic, since there is hardly anything that can be done by panicing the people, they have kept a tight lip on it.
A History Channel special on this a few nights ago optimistically predicted some 150 million deaths caused by the “new plague,” conveniently predicting that after some nine to twelve months it will go away, but who knows? Who knows it will not wipe off half the world’s population?
In conclusion, in light of the awkward tardiness of the Iranian government, the Iranians living abroad have a patriotic duty to step forward and to volunteer financial and other support toward this great health crusade >>> Also see Global Health Council on Avian Flu
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