Amar asks UPA to get vaccines to stop JE
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Amar asks UPA to get vaccines to stop JE

The onus of preventing outbreaks of JE in UP is on the Central Govt that must import sufficient amount of vaccines, says Amar Singh.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2005 14:59 IST

The onus of preventing outbreaks of Japanese Encephalitis in Uttar Pradesh is on the Central government that must import sufficient amount of vaccines, says the state's ruling Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh.

Admitting that pigs, poverty and water-logging were the prime reasons for the mosquito-borne disease that has officially killed 950 people this year, Singh said only a preventive vaccine could finally control the situation.

Blaming the escalation of the disease on the centre, the Uttar Pradesh Development Council chairperson said: "It is the health ministry that has to ensure the availability of the vaccines. The Central government will have to import the vaccine from South Korea."

"We are ready to pay for it. If they (the Central government) want, they can cut from our development budget. We can buy the vaccine if it is available," Singh said in an interaction with senior editors of IANS as part of its Guest-of-the-Month programme.

He said pigs, poverty and waterlogging were not a creation of the Samajwadi Party government. Governments had failed to eradicate poverty, clear waterlogging or separate pig farms from the neighbourhoods, particularly true for the eastern part of the state which was the worst hit with over 700 deaths.

"We should launch a massive drive now. Waterlogging can be stopped only with the help of Nepal. Better sanitation is needed and we need to educate the people for that. All these cannot happen overnight. So the only immediate solution is the vaccine."

"We came to power after nine years (in Uttar Pradesh). The Congress has been ruling the country for the last 56 years," said Singh.

"(Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister) Mulayam Singh is not the father of encephalitis in Gorakhpur (the epicentre of the disease) just as Sonia Gandhi is not its mother in her Rae Bareli (constituency)."

Speaking at length on the Congress role in the outbreak, Singh alleged senior leaders of the party also tried to scuttle Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss' attempts to coordinate between the Central government and the state to contain the disease.

"Ramadoss, himself a doctor, wanted to go to Gorakhpur with me to study the situation. But some Congress leaders warned him that I would grab the credit."

He alleged that the Congress had tried to politicise the issue even when he recently hosted a dinner for former US president Bill Clinton in Lucknow.

"On the day of Clinton's visit to Lucknow, Soniaji chose to visit Rae Bareli and her son Rahul came down to Gorakhpur just to highlight that we were holding a dinner when people were dying of encephalitis."

The Samajwadi Party leader said media reports on the death toll were exaggerated. "It has been happening ever since independence. Every year it kills people. This time it was 700 or 800. It was not 1,400 as said in the media. These figures are official. In a democracy it's not possible to hide someone's death."

First Published: Oct 05, 2005 14:59 IST