Swine Flu in Australia : Evaluation of Strategies and Recommendations

Swine Flu in Australia

Australia acted in a very fast manner to control the situation and they employ huge funds and human resources to tackle the pandemic issue in country.  Department of health and ageing was very much aware of rising problem worldwide and they deployed many restrictions and strategies to control the situation. All flights which were inbound or out bound from Australia were screened through very tough norms, thermal imaging and full body scan; any suspected or at risk individual would be given a shot of tamiflu vaccination immediately. Further on 28 September 2009 a very large level vaccination program was initiated by department of health and ageing in Australia and covered almost entire population of Australia.

Another important aspect of controlling strategies employed in Australia is involvement of community and using them in an optimal manner. This was inspired by the action taken by Chinese government in Hong Kong where community participation was tremendous and government made a lot of efforts to ensure that each level of community was reached and screened. It has been clearly demonstrated in study that community level preventive behaviours like washing hands frequently; using a face mask etc. reduced the chances of outbreak and also developed a secure environment where people can work stress free.

Department of health and ageing classified the entire outbreak into different phases like CONTAIN PHASE, SUSTAIN PHASE and PROTECT PHASE. These phases determine the level of severity of pandemic and it also determines the type of action which is to be taken, for example in SUSTAIN phase of pandemic all schools were closed by the department while in contain phase they keep a monitoring watch on public areas and scrutinize them regularly. Strategies adopted by Australia were much focused and they covered all possible aspects through which this disease can spread in a population.

On the other hand controlling strategies of Mexico had some contrast in comparison Australia. First aspect is the timing of response, strategies adopted by Australia were proactive in nature and they were deployed as soon as threat of disease started showing while in Mexico a few months passed before officials recognized the pandemic and started measures to control it. Their response was reactive in nature. However later government measures were very strong and both WHO and CDC, USA stated that government of Mexico is doing everything possible within their means and feasibility to ensure that damage from pandemic is minimal and a containment of the pandemic can be reached in minimum possible time. Soldiers and community workers were employed by government to hand out surgical masks to common people, around 6 million masks were distributed, from April to may all schools, colleges, libraries, public areas and community halls etc were closed as a measure to control the outbreak, all night places which are famous in Mexico city were also closed for 10 days by the government to assess their impact and avoid crowding of people in places where space is less and chances of transmission is higher.

EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATION FOR FUTURE

On evaluating control strategies and management techniques employed by different countries globally to manage the pandemic swine it can be stated that most of the countries worked in a reactive manner and they waited until signs and symptoms were visible in their population, all though it might appear to be prudent in terms that no government should spend money until and unless threat is real on them but if some proactive and preventive measures were employed by the government before the problem actually begin then it would have saved millions of dollars later in treatment and controlling mechanism. In future it is recommended that countries should develop a global communication and management system for any disease with a potential to spread a global pandemic. This system will act as an early warning system and make it mandatory for each government within the threat range to start working proactively and take precautionary measures. Benefit with this early warning system are evident with the recommendation itself, a early warning system will save hundreds of lives and millions of dollars which countries had to bear when a pandemic strikes them.

It is also observed that there was a serious lack of awareness and information among common people about swine flu, its impacts, symptoms and possible transmission causes [Go here for Medical Science and Biology Assignment Help]. This lack of information leads to spreading of rumors, causing confusion among people and falsely accusing some organizations and business activities for the spread of pandemic.  In case of swine flu many fig farms and food related industries had to suffer heavy financial losses because people stopped eating pork at all even when it is not connected with swine flu transmission. Such rumors can be stopped if international agencies and government make a collective decision of controlling the education and awareness information and channelizing it through one official and recognized source which will filter out all misleading and biased information from it. Hoax and rumors can easily create panic and people and make the entire pandemic much critical and threatening than it actually is.

Third recommendation which is made for the future management of such global pandemic break out of diseases is developing a special fund for management of such disease internationally and creating a global stockpile of vaccines and anti viral drugs. It is observed that there were many poor countries specially in third world countries group who faced the crunch of sufficient funds and anti viral drugs to manage the situation and control the disease, it might be one of the reason why these countries suffered a higher toll of death. With the help of a global stockpile of drugs and a global relief fund for pandemic viral infections these countries can be helped, further this fund can also be used for research in developing stronger anti viral and other drugs which can effectively manage unusual strains of viruses.

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