Postmen to help curb encephalitis in villages

Postmen to help curb encephalitis in villages

 The postman, a familiar figure in rural areas, besides distributing letters will now lend a helping hand in the fight against the dreaded encephalitis, which claim hundreds of lives, mostly children, in eastern Uttar Pradesh districts.


According to officials, postmen will be used to spread awareness among people in rural areas so that they can take precautions and protect themselves from encephalitis.
“Postmen almost regularly visit houses in villages to deliver letters and money orders. They are well-known to people and people also trust them,” said Alok Ojha, a senior official in the department of post at Gorakhpur.


Ojha said people in villages will not only listen attentively to what the postmen tell them, but they will also do as they were told. Many a times postmen also read out the content of the letters to people in villages as many of them are illiterate.
“The postmen will tell people to use mosquito nets, keep their surroundings clean and dry, and use boiled water after filtering it with a cotton cloth,” the official said.


“Initially, the campaign will
be launched in Gorakhur and Maharajganj districts, from where a majority of encephalitis cases are reported.


At least 200 people, mostly children, have so far died of encephalitis this year and 800 had been admitted to hospitals, according to sources.
The disease, which has assumed epidemic form, claimsh hundreds of lives every year. Although the disease has been taking its toll in eastern UP districts, mainly in the region around Gorakhpur,  for the last 33 years, little has been done by successive governments to check its spread.


The authorities have been focusing on clean water and sanitation.
Officials say they are working towards ensuring safe water and sanitation in encephalitis-affected villages, but the task is difficult if not
impossible.

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