TNIE Impact | Nipah virus: Health Department to step up awareness in Perambra to combat ostracisation of medical staff

Express had reported how a nurse at Perambra hospital faced mental agony after the conductor of a bus she was travelling advised a fellow passenger not to sit beside her.

Published: 24th May 2018 03:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2018 03:50 PM   |  A+A-


People wear face masks outside the medical College Hospital on Wednesday where several persons are under treatment for the Nipah Virus infection. (Express Photo | TP Sooraj)

By Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: In the wake of a TNIE report on the ostracisation of nurses and other medical staff of Perambra Taluk hospital by the local people due to fear of contracting the infection, health authorities have stepped in. District Medical Officer V Jayashree has assigned a group of officers from the Health Department to visit affected areas in Perambra and launch an awareness campaign asking people no to isolate or boycott health workers.

READ HERE | Nipah fear: After Lini's death, nurses at Perambra hospital face ostracisation in public places

Socially isolating the health officials who had treated the infected patients is not a healthy attitude, said the DMO. “People have to understand that they are not infected by any virus. Also, we have been repeatedly stressing on the fact that the virus will not spread unless anybody has a close contact with the patient,” she added.

Express had reported how a nurse at Perambra hospital faced mental agony after the conductor of a bus she was travelling advised a fellow passenger not to sit beside her. In another case, a passenger demanded another nurse to keep a safe distance from her while travelling from the hospital to Perambra town.

The incidents of ostracisation were reported at a time when the medical staff at Perambra Taluk hospital were slowly recovering he untimely demise of their colleague P N Lini, a staff nurse, after attending to a person infected by the Nipah virus.

Director of Health Services R L Sarita said public need not boycott any officials or the family of the deceased persons. “It has come to our attention that a few cases were reported. We had asked the officials to check this and I hope this would be resolved soon,” she said.

The senior health officer emphasised that awareness campaigns are carried out successfully in all major centres and local-self government authorities are playing a vital role in it. She also added that the people should not be hesitant to talk with to people who have had contact with the deceased.

District Collector U V Jose said a task force has been formed under the leadership of the Additional District Magistrate. "We have also decided to conduct an awareness programme among the public at Perambra. This would bring some change," he said.



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