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Influenza Immunisation - Now Free For Under 18s In Canterbury

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Influenza Immunisation - Now Free For Under 18s In Canterbury

In a New Zealand first, Canterbury residents aged under 18 years are eligible for free flu vaccine this season. This shows the Canterbury Health system's desire to protect our community against avoidable illnesses. Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ramon Pink says the flu season has begun in Canterbury with several cases already confirmed.

Damage from the September 4 and February 22 earthquakes has changed a lot of Cantabrian's living conditions that will make them more vulnerable to catching the flu.

"The concern this winter is that because of the earthquake many of us are living much closer together in more crowded houses and in improvised office spaces and classrooms, Dr Pink says.

"Some homes might also be colder this winter, increasing the impact of flu on people who are more likely to develop complications. Children are especially vulnerable. There is benefit to both preschool aged children who are vaccinated and their families. With older school aged children sharing campuses and buses and good hand hygiene being more difficult to practice, the flu virus can spread more easily between people.

"We urge all people living in Canterbury to think about their families this winter and get vaccinated. A lot of people may feel a bit run down after the earthquake and the stress that has resulted. This makes them more prone to getting viruses like the flu.

Even if you had a vaccination last year, you still need to have another one. It takes two weeks before the vaccination protects you from the flu, so best to get it done now. All you need to do is make an appointment at your local general practice." The vaccine is already free to people aged over 65 years old, those under 65 years with a chronic health condition, as well as pregnant women.

SHORT SHOWERS SHOW YOU CARE - TAKE CARE WITH WATER USE

Where you have water available at home, regardless of what part of Christchurch you live in, please use it sparingly as sewerage systems are broken and not able to cope with large volumes of waste water.

This applies when showering - remember that short showers show you care - and when flushing the toilet, 'if it's yellow let mellow; if it's brown flush it down'.

Dirty cars also show you care - spare the sewerage system - don't waste water washing the car! BURWOOD BIRTHING UNIT REOPENING NEXT WEEK

The birthing unit at Burwood hospital will reopen at 8am on Monday 11 April. While it's been closed the unit has been repaired and repainted. TRANSPORT AND PARKING AT CHRISTCHURCH HOSPITAL

The public are advised to take extra care parking and walking around the Christchurch Hospital site due to maintenance and traffic diversions in place.

Parking spaces are reduced at Christchurch Hospital and this is continuing to cause severe traffic congestion, delays and frustration for patients and visitors.

The reduction in car parks is due to a number of factors: large water tanks sitting outside the main entrance to the hospital; maintenance being carried out on the hospital site and the fact that adjacent car park buildings are still closed.

The public are asked not to drive through the hospital one way system unless they have to.

People are advised to leave home early to allow time for traffic en route and finding a park when they arrive. Free shuttle buses to hospital are available from a number of locations around Christchurch.

Mobility parks are available for those who need them. If you need assistance, please talk to security staff on site who can provide advice.

Patients attending the Blood Test centre can use the parks in front of the Labs where parking is allocated for them.

Allow extra time if you're heading to hospital

Patience is required as everyone wants to get as close as possible to the front door to the hospital. If you don't use a shuttle, you're advised to allow at least 30 minutes to find a park and walk to hospital.

Parking is also a challenge for hospital staff, who are having to allow extra time before shifts to walk from their cars to work.

HOSPITAL SHUTTLE BUS SERVICES

These shuttles are free for staff, patients and their support people. Burwood to Christchurch Hospital: Monday to Sunday Service Burwood departures leave from beside Beacon House at entrance B2 leave at 6.15am, 8.00am, 2.00pm, 4.00pm and 10.00pm. Christchurch departures leave from the traffic lights on Oxford Terrace below the emergency department at 7.15am, 3.30pm, 5.00pm and 11.15pm. Hillmorton to Christchurch Hospital: Monday to Friday Service for staff and patients Minibuses operating hourly from 7.30am to 5.00pm between Hillmorton and Christchurch Hospitals starting at 7.30am from Hillmorton / 8.00am from Christchurch Drop off and pick up is from the lower ground floor entrance of Christchurch Women's Hospital.

ADDITIONAL PARKING AT CHRISTCHURCH HOSPITAL

The Christchurch City Council has provided additional parking for hospital use on the grassed area behind the Horticultural Centre Car Park (access to the right of the building). This is in addition to the Hagley Park car park near the tennis club, Access is off Riccarton Ave.

The DHB is awaiting consent to start repairs on its Antigua Street car park. Until repairs are carried out it will remain closed. PAEDIATRIC OUTPATIENTS OPEN AS USUAL

Christchurch Hospital's Paediatric Outpatients Department would like to remind families with appointments to please attend. The department is open as usual. A large number of children have not been able to attend their appointments. Please contact the department at the earliest time to change or cancel an appointment so it can be offered to another child. Also keep in close touch with your GP if you cannot make appointments: your GP is well placed to assess the urgency of problems and to talk with the hospital team for advice. The department is exploring alternative options to help families make their appointments. If you wish to cancel or change an appointment phone: (03) 3640025 or e-mail paedopn@cdhb.govt.nz stating your child's name, hospital number, name of the clinic and the date of your appointment. If you wish to provide a suggestion to make attending a clinic more accessible please email: michelle.kane@cdhb.govt.nz

CHRISTCHURCH RESIDENTS STILL NEED TO BOIL ALL WATER

It is vitally important that people keep boiling or treating all water before drinking, brushing teeth or using in food preparation (including baby formula) until formally advised otherwise by the Council.

Boil or treat all water from taps and tankers before drinking, brushing teeth or using in food preparation. Bringing water to the boil is sufficient to kill bugs. Water needs to be boiled even if you can smell or taste chlorine. If you cannot boil water, treat it by adding 1 teaspoon of household bleach per 10 litres of water and leave for 30 minutes. Dishwashers can be used on a full hot wash with detergent (not economy wash). Dishes must be allowed to dry fully prior to re-use. In parts of the city, sewerage pipes have broken or are breaking as services come back online. People should avoid sewage and silt that may have been contaminated with sewage, even if it is on their properties. If you need sewage removed from your property call Christchurch City Council on 941 8999. If people have to work with silt they should wear water-proof gloves, gumboots and a dust mask. People should also shower or wash thoroughly immediately after contact with either sewage or silt, and wash clothes separately. Waterways are contaminated with sewage. Avoid contact with rivers, sea water, ponds, puddles or other surface water. Do not swim, paddle, fish, or gather shellfish or any other food from oceans and rivers. Take care when disposing of human waste (faeces, poo, vomit etc). If your sewerage system has not been working and you have access to a portable or chemical toilet, please continue to use this until advised otherwise. If you need a chemical toilet call 941 8999. Solid waste that is tightly wrapped in plastic can go into you red bin, but only as a last resort. Wash your hands immediately after dealing with any human waste. Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser often, particularly after toileting, and before and after eating or preparing food. If you are sick, try to limit contact with other people, do not go to work and do not prepare food for anyone.

GENERAL PRACTICES AND PHARMACIES

Most general practice teams and pharmacies in Canterbury are now open. If you need to see a doctor, phone your own GP first and you will be put through to someone who can help. . GP and prescription fees have returned to their usual rates. If the cost of visiting your GP is a problem, talk to your doctor as you may be eligible for special subsidised fees. If you are on a benefit other than national superannuation - for example a sickness benefit or emergency payment, you will be able to visit any GP free of charge until 10 April 2011. Call your own GP first. It is important you address your health concerns early with your general practice team. Ideally you will be able to visit your usual general practice team. If this is not possible, you should consult a nearby general practice team. You will pay similar fees to those charged to regular patients at that practice. If it's an emergency call 111.

Pharmacies If you want to collect several medicines at once it's helpful if you can drop your prescription off and give the pharmacy a day to get them ready for you. Even if you think your pharmacy is closed, please ring the usual pharmacy telephone number. Your call will either be redirected or the recorded message will tell you where you can collect your medicines from. BLOOD TESTS For details of where you can go to have a blood test or other tests, check www.bloodtest.co.nz

ELECTIVE SERVICES - SURGERY & OUTPATIENTS

Outpatient clinic activity is steadily increasing, however there is a higher-than usual level of people unable to make their appointments. Additional phone reminders are taking place to ensure people remember their appointments. Please advise the hospital early if you are unable to get to an appointment. Levels of surgery are starting to return to usual levels, although there is an emphasis on carrying out more of the less complex cases as we get back up to speed. Acute Surgery, some urgent major surgery and simple elective surgery is now occurring at Christchurch Hospital. Acceptance of referrals from other DHBs and returns of patients transferred out for major elective surgery remains on a case by case basis as capacity and acuity allows. The ongoing transfer of some urgent surgical patients to other DHBs is reducing but arrangements will need to continue dependent on acute demand.

CANTERBURY DHB BUILDINGS

All hospital buildings have been checked by independent structural engineers. Other than those closed off or with restricted entry, the buildings have been assessed as safe to occupy - 'Green stickers' are being placed on these buildings. Hagley Hostel is 'red stickered' and unsafe.

MEDIA ACCESS

Media are not to access Christchurch Hospital or staff without permission.

All media queries must be directed to the Canterbury DHB Communications Team. Please phone (03) 337 7390, or 027 502 7523 / 027 531 4796.

AGED CARE RESIDENTS

CDHB is working with aged care providers and community organisations representing the interests of older people to develop guidelines that will help determine who will have priority for places in rest homes in Christchurch. No further transfers out of the district will take place until the new priority criteria is finalised and agreed.

The Vulnerable People team is also looking at how support can be provided to families needing assistance to visit their loved ones who have been moved to rest homes out of Christchurch.

The Canterbury DHB team working on vulnerable people's needs can be contacted on 337 8937 for any enquiries relating to rest home residents who have been transferred.

SUPPORT AND COUNSELLING SERVICES

These have been extremely difficult times for all of us. Each of us may be affected in a different way. Common experiences include: poor sleep, irritability, nervousness, unpleasant dreams, loss of energy, feeling tired and a multitude of emotions such as anger, guilt or sadness.

In young children symptoms can include bedwetting, being "clingy" to a parent and displaying disruptive and disturbing behaviour. These are all normal and understandable responses. They will generally lessen over time. Support from friends and family helps with recovery.

If you are concerned about yourself or a family member or a friend, you encouraged to call: Special Helpline 0800 777 846. This service may offer immediate advice and support or may connect you with another helping agency.

RECOVERY ASSISTANCE CENTRES (RACs) Recovery Assistance Centres are one-stop-shops where people can access welfare information and services. They bring together central, local government and non government organisations. The Recovery Assistance Centres are open: Mon to Fri: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Saturday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (noon) Sunday Closed Current locations are:  Linwood Community Link, 154 Aldwins Road, Linwood  Wainoni Aranui Family Centre, 31 Hampshire Street, Wainoni  Parklands Baptist Church, 180 Queenspark Drive, Parklands  St Faith's Hall, 46 Hawke Street, New Brighton  Nga Hau e Wha Marae, 250 Pages Road, Aranui  Delta Community Support Trust, 105 North Avon Road, Richmond  Sydenham Community Centre, 23-25 Hutcheson Street, Sydenham  Lyttelton Recreation Centre, 25 Winchester Street, Lyttelton More information on RACs visit www.msd.govt.nz/emergency/recovery-assistance-centres.html

RECOVERY INFORMATION KIOSKS

Recovery Information Kiosks have opened throughout Christchurch. The kiosks are placed within communities, where people can get information on the help available. The kiosks are unmanned and are located at:  Akaroa Heartland Service Centre, 39 Rue Lavaud  Akaroa Library, 2 Selwyn Ave  Aranui Heartlands, 37-45 Hampshire Street  Aranui Seventh Day Adventist Church, cnr Pages Rd and Rowan Ave  Bishopdale Library, 13 Bishopdale Court, Bishopdale Shopping Centre  Delta Trust, 105 North Avon Road  Little River Library, State Highway 75, Little River  South Christchurch Library, 66 Colombo Street  Waipuna Youth and Community Trust, 349 Woodham Road Helplines ACC - People wanting to know what their entitlements are 0800 101 996 Red Cross - 0800 733 276. People who have relocated outside of Christchurch are urged to contact the Red Cross. Urgent mental health advice - Psychiatric Emergency Service on 03 3640 482 or 0800 920 092 Urgent Dental Care - If you can't contact your own dentist 335 4260. After hours 027 683 0679 Meals on wheels - 337 7797 Plunket Line continues to operate 24hours 7days, free calling, including from cell phones - 0800 933 922 Vulnerable older people - that urgently require assistance because of health or disability needs should contact Older Persons Health on 337 7765 for assessment and advice. Dialysis - helpline 0800 881919 Ambulance - 111 24-hour medical centre in Bealey Avenue - 365 7777 Water collection locations - http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/water-tanker-timetable-for-deliveries/ Coping strategies - stress and anxiety - The Ministry of Health has created a series of fact sheets with advice and coping strategies for people experiencing stress or anxiety in the wake of this week's tragedy. These can be found on the Ministry's website - www.moh.govt.nz - under the banner headline 'Christchurch Earthquake' Other useful websites include - www.canterburyearthquake.org.nz www.civildefence.co.nz Follow us on www.facebook.com

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