October 25, 2009
Teenage girl Jordan’s third swine flu fatality
(MENAFN – Jordan Times) The third H1N1 (swine) flu death was confirmed in the Kingdom Saturday, Minister of Health Nayef Fayez said.
Bassam Hijjawi, director of the ministry’s disease control department, elaborated that the deceased was a 14-year-old girl who was admitted to Prince Hamzah Hospital nine days ago suffering from pneumonia.
“The girl was referred to Prince Hamzah Hospital from one of the country’s private hospitals in critical condition,” Hijjawi said yesterday, adding that medics there could not determine whether the pneumonia was a complication resulting from the H1N1.
Also yesterday, another Ministry of Health source said that the H1N1 emergency section in Prince Hamzah Hospital is crowded with people who come to take the swine flu test, and to receive treatment in case they test positive.
“Every day we deal with more than 1,000 cases, and the staff can hardly handle the issue,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Jordan Times yesterday, adding that 40 medics, nurses and administrative workers at the hospital were infected with the disease.
“Although the ministry has allowed private hospitals to diagnose and treat swine flu cases, these hospitals diagnose the cases and refer them to Prince Hamzah Hospital, which increases the burden on workers there,” the source said.
Another Health Ministry source said yesterday that Prince Hamzah Hospital lacks specialists to deal with pregnant women who go into labor while diagnosed with swine flu.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Jordan Times that several pregnant women were referred to Prince Hamzah Hospital to be treated for swine flu, where they went into labor, and medics could not treat these cases as the hospital does not have a resident obstetrician.
He noted that Prince Hamzah Hospital is not equipped to perform deliveries, while Al Bashir Hospital, the major public hospital in Amman, is equipped to receive pregnant women in labor but is not accredited to treat swine flu.
According to Health Ministry Primary Healthcare Director Adel Bilbeisi, in such cases, pregnant women should be referred to another accredited hospital, including the University of Jordan Hospital in Amman, Jamil Toutanji Hospital in Sahab, or any private hospital.
The total number of confirmed swine flu cases in the Kingdom has reached 1,800, according to Bilbeisi.
Health authorities also announced that they are adopting new measures to deal with swine flu cases detected in the Kingdom’s schools, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported Friday.
According to the new measures, students infected with the flu will be given sick leave for one week, while the rest of the students in the same classroom will go to school as normal.
Under previous instructions agreed upon by the ministries of health and education, in instances where one swine flu case was detected in a school, the classroom where the case was confirmed was to be closed, and if more than one case was confirmed in multiple classes, the school would be closed down for one week.
In the case of kindergartens, the ministry will maintain the same procedures and will close the kindergarten for two weeks.
By Khetam Malkawi