CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav has written a letter to Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss demanding supply of Chinese vaccine ‘SA14-14-2’ to counter Japanese Encephalitis in eastern UP.
Already Japanese Encephalitis has spread its tentacle in 14 districts affecting 1,026 children and claiming 179 lives.
The Health Department plans to organise vaccination programme in five districts including Basti, Gonda, Bahraich, Shravasti. “We plan to vaccinate 38 lakh children in the five districts and urged the Union Government to supply 41 lakh doses of the vaccine” an official said.
In May, the Health Department organised a vaccination programme in seven districts including Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sant Kabir Nagar and Siddharthnagar. Around 68 lakh children were immunised in a month immunisation drive.
Director general medical health and family welfare Dr B Nath said, “The vaccination drive proved effective as we were able to prevent the disease from taking an epidemic form as was witnessed last year.”
JE affected 5581 children and claimed 1593 lives last year.
Though the vaccine was able to counter JE to some extent, another virus Coxsackie infected large number of children. “There is no vaccine to counter Coxsackie. Since the anti-JE vaccine was available, we planned to vaccinate the children to protect them from the killer disease,” the officials said.
This year, the cases of JE have been reported in Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Maharajganj, Mau, Balrampur, Gonda, Azamagarh, Basti, Siddharthanagar, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ballia and Ghazipur districts.
As many as156 patients suffering from JE came from Bihar.
Out of 156 patients, 31 lost their lives. Seven persons, suffering from JE, came from Nepal. One of them died.