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Centre announces research centre in Gorakhpur, sends specialists

The Centre also sent a team of specialists to study the reasons for the spread of the disease in the region and facilities provided to the patients, he said.

india Updated: Aug 14, 2017 09:28 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Gorakhpur
Union Health Minister JP Nadda (right) looks on as Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath addresses a press conference after visiting the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital on Sunday.(AP)

The Centre on Sunday announced a regional medical research centre in Gorakhpur following the high number of encephalitis deaths at the city’s BRD medical college.

“Before coming here, I have approved the establishment of a research centre in Gorakhpur at a cost of Rs 85 crore. This institute will conduct research into the infections of children and their possible reasons,” Union health minister JP Nadda said at a press conference in the presence of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday.

The Centre also sent a team of specialists to study the reasons for the spread of the disease in the region and facilities provided to the patients, he said.

More than 60 children suffering from Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) died at BRD medical college over the last six days.

The BJP-led UP government, which drew criticism over the deaths after the facility allegedly defaulted on payments of Rs 68 lakh to oxygen suppliers, admitted that oxygen supply was disrupted for two hours on Thursday night but ruled it out as the reason for the tragedy.

Nadda said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was concerned about the death of children.

“He is keeping a watch on the situation and directed me to visit Gorakhpur and take stock of the situation. The central government will give all assistance to the state government to upgrade facilities at the BRD Medical College,” he assured.

Adityanath made a strong pitch for establishing a full-fledged virus research centre in Gorakhpur.

“The geography of east UP is such that we cannot win the war against vector-borne diseases until we have a full-fledged virus research centre. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given AIIMS... but, there should be a full-fledged virus research centre in Gorakhpur to study the causes of death and give suggestion on measures required to eradicate the disease,” Adityanath said.

“I have also urged the central government to send a team of specialist doctors,” Adityanath said.

Nadda said as an MP, Adityanath had raised the issue of deaths due to Japanese Encephalitis in Parliament.

It was on Adityanath’s advice that the Japanese Encephalitis vaccination was included in the national vaccination programme. The aim was to check deaths in the region, Nadda said.

“During the last parliamentary session, I had assured Adityanathji that a full-fledged institute will soon be set up,” the Union minister said.

Adityanath told reporters that 9,000 patients visit the medical college for treatment daily. The medical college has a 500-bed hospital. The patients come from Gorakhpur, adjoining districts as well as Nepal and Bihar.

There was a need to upgrade health facilities in the region, he said.

The Centre had sanctioned AIIMS for Gorakhpur and the specialised hospital will become functional soon, giving people access to better health facilities, he said.

First Published: Aug 13, 2017 20:03 IST