epidemiology

Swine Flu: A Lesson in Early Detection

A recent outbreak of swine flu virus (Pandemic influenza A, or H1N1) has affected thirty-eight people in Nepal as of October 11th,about a week after the initial outbreak. According to NDTV, the last time Nepal experienced a swine flu outbreak was in 2009, when over forty fatalities resulted.

Swine flu is easily treated when detected in its initial stages. Nepal has experienced over twenty fatalities from viral fever, many due to late detection. To most of us, getting the flu wouldn’t be a huge deal. We would miss classes or work for a week, take medication, and be fine. To many Nepali people, swine flu could mean death, simply because it isn’t detected and treated fast enough. By simply providing Nepali people with a facility that’s equipped with the resources to treat things like the flu, we can make a huge difference in lowering fatality rates for diseases and inflictions most people might barely think twice about.

When Jeffrey Kaplan, a member of Nyaya Health’s Board of Directors, visited Nepal recently, he became bed-ridden with a stomach bug. He described in his blog post, “In our world, this is a temporary inconvenience.  Under the worst case, you hit the Emergency Room at your local hospital, get hooked up to an IV, and then move on with your life often within a day. … But for those billions of people without access to Bayalpata or another adequate facility, the results can be much worse.”

Call to Action: By supporting our chapter’s current project, we can prevent problems like the lack of access to proper resources. If we succeed in our mission to fund the addition of eighteen solar panels to Bayalpata Hospital, we can help provide the necessary care to Nepali people who could otherwise remain untreated.  

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