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Belladonna keeps JE at bay

A DROP of Belladonna may help you keep the dreaded Japanese Encephalitis (JE) at bay. Besides, it is cost-effective. This has been revealed by a group of homoeopathy experts in the city. But the drug is awaiting green signal from the State authorities.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2006 01:39 IST

A DROP of Belladonna may help you keep the dreaded Japanese Encephalitis (JE) at bay. Besides, it is cost-effective. This has been revealed by a group of homoeopathy experts in the city. But the drug is awaiting green signal from the State authorities.

Tested in 2005, the medicine was found effective on 3,25,000 human beings in JE-affected Gorakhpur and Maharajganj districts. It restricted cases of JE to just two among those who were administered the drug during the trial.

However, the villages, where this preventive medicine was not used, the cases of JE were reported in large number. Belladonna was tested as a preventive medicine by the Homoeopatic Drug Research Institute (HDRI) and after a laboratory trial, it was decided that the drug should be administered to human beings.

“During the trial on human beings, we went for a mass drug administration (MDA) programme in the villages of Gorakhpur and Maharajganj, which were affected by JE last year,” said HDRI director, Dr JP Singh.

The MDA, he said, was not actually part of the drug research programme. But owing to positive results from the drug trial and critical condition of people in the eastern part of the State, the task of administering the medicine to such a large population was carried out by HDRI, said Dr AK Gupta who conducted a follow-up in the villages.“We covered 46 villages and 83 schools belonging to these two districts,” said Dr Mahesh Shah.HDRI has, through the Directorate of Homeopathy, recommended to the State for initiating another MDA drive to administer preventive medicine to the population of eastern part of the State where JE spreads.

“Last but not the least, three-day doses of Belladonna costs only Rs 5 per person. It is far below the cost of vaccination programme,” he said.

A dose of Belladonna carried so much weight that the Prussian Government used it during scarlet fever epidemics in 1838.

“We are hopeful that this year also, the medicine would be utilised by the State as the right time to administer the medicine is nearing,” Dr Shah added.

First Published: Jun 11, 2006 01:39 IST