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New face mask campaign launched


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New face mask campaign launched



Published on June 17, 2009


Ministry to send a million masks to 834 hospitals



The Public Health Ministry will next week launch a massive campaign urging doctors, nurse, medical worker and patients to wear face masks and wash their hands frequently as more and more people get fearful of catching TypeA(H1N1) influenza.


"This is the best and easiest way of preventing infections," Deputy Public Health Minister Manit Nopamornbodi announced yesterday.


The ministry will distribute a million masks to cover staff at all 834 hospitals nationwide.


At the same time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned manufacturers not to increase the price of face masks or hoard the product.


"Many more people need to buy the masks to protect themselves," FDA secretarygeneral Dr Pipat Yingseri said.


Citing a World Health Organisation study, Manit said wearing face masks could reduce the spread of diseases by 80 per cent, while washing hands frequently would prevent the spread of respiratory infections.


The Public Health Ministry's permanent secretary, Dr Prat Boonyawongvirot, said there were direct and indirect ways for infections to spread. For instance, people could get directly infected if they come in close contact with patients; while indirect infections could be caused by coming into contact with contaminated things.


The number of people who wear face masks at medical facilities has increased from 50 per cent in 2007 to 90 per cent last year since the Public Health Ministry first launched a campaign urging people to keep their faces covered.


About 86 per cent of patients think that wearing a face mask could prevent the spread of disease, while only 20 per cent said they found wearing face masks disgusting.


Thai pop star, Nicole Theriault has also joined the campaign saying it was each individual's responsibility to prevent the spread of disease.


"Good personal hygiene such as wearing a face mask and keeping your hands clean can protect you and your family from infectious diseases. This is your responsibility," she said.


Nicole was a presenter for the face mask campaign when it was first launched five years ago.


Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai has also urged relevant agencies to clean public spaces, such as pubs, bars and cinemas, at least once a month to cut the risk of infections.


Doorknobs, tables, chairs, glasses, telephones, railing and toilet flush handles should also be sanitised, he advised.



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Funny, I saw a couple of farangs walking around Nana the other day wearing masks. At first I thought it was because of traffic polution or something. Maybe they were worried about this swine flu.

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