13 August 2009
SOS Children's Villages Prepare for Swine Flu in India
H1N1 Virus Spreads in India
August 14, 2009 - As of Friday morning, August 14th, India has confirmed more than 1,000 cases of the H1N1 "Swine Flu," including 20 related deaths. The city of Pune in Western India claims the highest number of flu cases in the country and ten of the 17 casualties.
Some cities throughout India have taken preventative measures against the H1N1 virus. The city of Mumbai has closed schools and movie theaters for several days.
India's health care system has provided laboratories tens of thousands of test kits and anti-flu drugs with which to diagnose and treat suspected cases. The Indian government has also urged its citizens to avoid travel abroad until the virus is under control within its own borders.
The World Health Organization has stated that of the 177,457 confirmed cases, 1,462 people have died from H1N1 infection worldwide.
Preventive Measures Implemented by SOS Children's Villages
In the past, SOS Children's Villages have taken precautionary measures against Swine Flu in countries that have been most affected by the virus. Following the initial H1N1 outbreak in Mexico in April of 2009, SOS staff members took the following measures to prevent the spread of the virus:
SOS children, mothers, aunts, and co-workers were required to wear surgical masks in common areas in and around the family home.
Outsider access to villages was limited and those who did visit were required to wear a surgical mask.
Children were required to stay within their villages and mothers were instructed to avoid markets and public places as necessary.
Mothers and aunts monitored their children with instructions to immediately report developing symptoms.
Mothers instructed their children and youth about how to avoid contracting the virus.
In Comitán, Mexican health authorities vaccinated SOS workers, families, and children against influenza.
In Tehuácan, all social activities in community centers were canceled.
SOS Children's Villages will maintain a close watch on the spread of the A/H1N1 virus' global impact and will encourage the 39 Villages in India to take all reasonable precautions. As of August 13, 2009, there have been no reports of cases of Swine Flu in the any of the SOS programs.
Support The Health of SOS Children's Villages
Even with cooperation from local governments and international aid organizations, SOS Children's Villages' ability to maintain overall high health standards is directly dependent upon the generosity of our sponsors. If you would like to help provide nourishing food, a safe home, and medical care to an orphaned boy or girl in India, please consider sponsoring an SOS child.