OVER 20 deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) have been reported from BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur in the past one week while another about 150 children are undergoing treatment there.
According to reports, 200 children have died of AES so far this year —- the mortality being close to 14 per cent as compared to about 20 per cent in previous years.
Principal secretary (Medical Education) A C Pandey visited BRD Medical College Tuesday while chief secretary Alok Ranjan has asked principal secretary (Medical and Health) also to visit Gorakhpur and submit a report as soon as possible.
“The only solution to AES is prevention and awareness about hygiene, and timely and right treatment. Efforts in this regard are being made both by the state and the central governments,” said Dr R N Singh, convenor of Encephalitis Eradication Movement in Gorakhpur.
Singh said he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi drawing his focus on the deaths in eastern Uttar Pradesh. “During a rally in Kushinagar before Lok Sabha elections last year, Prime Minister had pointed out that that previous government had done nothing for encephalitis. I have drawn his attention to the need for focused efforts in this regard but has not got any response so far.”
R K Tiwari, additional director, medical and health (Gorakhpur division), said, “All the preventive efforts have been undertaken. Over 11,000 rallies were taken out in the region to create awareness about preventive measures. Despite all this, parents still wait for the convulsions to start before they seek medical help for children, which becomes fatal. We are now trying to put ASHA health workers on alert in the region to look out for patients”.
Meanwhile, in Lucknow Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan has directed all the district magistrates to inspect the hospitals in their respective districts at least once a week and submit their report to the government every month.