NCT urges midwife swine flu campaign

Confusion over swine flu advice to pregnant women could be cleared up with a targeted government information campaign via midwives, the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has urged.

The Department of Health swine flu campaign
The Department of Health swine flu campaign

The campaigning organisation says the circulation of proactive, consistent and up-to-date information to pregnant women via midwives would be “extremely useful” following a weekend of confused headlines and conflicting public statements by government and health officials.

A panic was sparked yesterday (July 19) by a report in a Sunday newspaper which claimed that the NCT had warned women to delay conceiving until the pandemic is over.

However, the advice was from the government, based on a two-year old general pandemic flu advice, which the NCT linked to on its website.

The advice also urged pregnant women to stay away from crowded areas and avoid unnecessary travel, sparking confusion and panic over whether they should carry on with normal routines and take public transport to busy workplaces or shopping centres.

Health secretary Andy Burnham moved to clarify the advice this morning (20 July), urging expectant mothers to carry-on as normal but observe good hygiene to avoid catching the bug.

Meanwhile analysts are predicting European drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will net around £1bn from sales of Swine Flu vaccine to governments around the world.

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