Around 400 deaths later,the state government has decided to bring in certain policy changes to tackle the rising number of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome cases.
In a proposal sent to the Government of India,the state Health department has suggested to revise vaccination programme for Japanese Encephalitis.
One of the important proposals sent to the Centre includes launch of JE vaccination programme for people up to the age of 25 years. Till now,it was held only for children up to the age of 15 years.
The trend of the disease has changed over the years. This year,around 38 per cent JE cases reported from Gorakhpur and nearby areas are in patients above the age of 15, said Dr Ramji Lal,Director General,Medical and Health. Hence,we have sent a proposal to the Government of India for starting the JE vaccination programme for youth up to the age of 25 years. As of now,the proposal is for Gorakhpur and Basti divisions, he said.
Further,the DG said,seeing the occurrence of JE cases in Lucknow,Azamgarh and Gonda (Devipatan) division,the state has also requested the Centre to start the vaccination programme in these divisions as well. The programme in these divisions will be only for children up to 15 years. Till now,AES has been prevalent in Gorakhpur and Basti divisions.
The state government has also asked the Jal Nigam to install deep-bore India Mark II hand pumps in pockets where AES cases are reportedly in large number. Till now,the hand pumps were being installed in haphazard way. Now,we are trying to locate those pockets,where the cases are more and then coordinate with Jal Nigam to install hand pumps there, said Lal.
As per the state official data,the toll of AES deaths in the state has crossed 400 while the total number of cases till now have reached over 2500 cases.