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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Flu awareness campaign launched in Northern Emirates

The Health Ministry educates on preventative measures to stop the virus that can lead to severe symptoms

The Australian flu can be avoided if a flu shot is given. Eric Gaillard / Reuters
The Australian flu can be avoided if a flu shot is given. Eric Gaillard / Reuters

The Health Ministry’s preventive medicine department kicked off an awareness campaign on Wednesday ahead of flu season to help educate about available vaccination, the ministry said.

The campaign will run until December 8, targeting the Northern Emirates’ healthcare professionals as well as the private sector.

“Vaccine is recommended for healthcare professionals especially those who are in emergency and outpatient clinics, primary healthcare centres and intensive care units as part of their protection,” said Dr Nada Al Marzooqi, director of preventive medicine department.

She said the influenza (flu) vaccination was particularly recommended for pregnant women, patients with chronic diseases, the elderly and children under five years as they are more susceptible to complications from the infection.

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The Ministry of Health and Prevention will hold lectures and training to highlight updated clinical information, including risks of the virus as well as effectiveness of the medicine.

Dr Hussein Al Rand, assistant undersecretary for Health Clinics and Centres Sector, said the initiative was part of a broader effort to provide universal health coverage and to “develop the skills of healthcare workers according to the latest international guidelines”.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness, which can lead to mild or severe symptoms.

Globally around 3 to 5 million cases of the virus each year has resulted in severe illness, with up to 10 per cent of those cases resulting in death, according to the World Health Organisation.

Dr Al Marzooqi said vaccination was considered to be the best and most effective medical intervention to protect against the flu.

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