Parliament agrees to public education campaign for H1N1 outbreak

By NYAN HLAING LYNN | FRONTIER

NAY PYI TAW — Lawmakers in the Pyithu Hluttaw have discussed an urgent proposal in relation to the outbreak of the H1N1 influenze virus, also known as swine flu, and have agreed to immediately begin an education campaign to prevent the disease from spreading.

At least six people have died and 30 others have been diagnosed with the illness since July 19, according to a release by the Ministry of Health and Sports.

Dr Than Tun Aung, deputy director of the ministry’s Public Health Department, said the government has asked the World Health Organization for help in controlling the outbreak.

Parliament unanimously agreed a proposal put forward by U Thein Tun (Union Solidarity and Development Party, Kyaunggon) to conduct an education campaign in busy areas including schools, markets, railway stations, bus stations, ports and airports.

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Thein Tun also urged authorities to conduct an education campaign through newspapers, radio, television and the internet, adding that people had died because they were not aware of the severity of the illness.

Health Ministry officials have sought to downplay the severity of the outbreak, with Than Tun Aung telling Frontier earlier this week the H1N1 strain of the flu had an extremely low morbidity rate.

An official from ministry said they were planning to erect educational posters in popular areas and to submit a list of do’s and don’ts regarding the spread of the disease. 

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