New Delhi: Government on Thursday, admitted that 25
per cent of children affected by Japanese Encephalitis die
while 40 percent of those who survive become mentally or
physically handicapped, but maintained that effective steps
were being taken to tackle the disease.
Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad
said during a Calling Attention Motion in the Lok Sabha that
Japanese Encephalitis is a major public health challenge
which has affected children in Gorakhpur and Basti districts
of Uttar Pradesh, parts of Orissa and Chattisgarh.
"25 per cent of children affected by this disease die
while 40 per cent of those who survive become physically
challenged or lose their mental balance," Azad said.
Sharing data, Azad stated that 1,133 deaths were reported
in 2011 alone. Of these, 575 deaths were reported in Gorakhpur
and Basti divisions of UP, 250 in Orissa and 197 in Bihar.
He maintained that since 2006 vaccines have been
introduced and these have brought down the number of JE cases
from 36 per cent to 6.4 per cent of the population.
A Group of Ministers (GOM) has been appointed by Prime
Minister to deal specifically with the issue and it has held
three meetings till date, Azad said.
Yogi Adityanath (BJP), who had moved the Calling Attention
Motion, expressed dissatisfaction with the Minister's
contention and said though over one lakh deaths have taken
place in the last 33 years in just seven districts of UP, the
government has not done anything substantial. It is still not
clear if these deaths are caused by JE or something else, he
First Published: Thursday, December 29, 2011, 13:09