Decline in Japanese encephalitis, AES deaths in UP

According to official sources, the number of JE and AES patients declined by 35% this year while the number of deaths from the two dreaded diseases declined by 65%. File photo

Preventive measures coupled with better treatment facilities at government hospitals ensured a sharp decline in the number of deaths from Japanese encephalitis (JE) and acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Uttar Pradesh this year.

According to official sources, the number of JE and AES patients declined by 35% this year while the number of deaths from the two dreaded diseases declined by 65%.

In the Gorakhpur region, which had been the worst affected by JE and AES in the past, only 87 patients were admitted to the hospitals with symptoms of the diseases of whom 19 died.

Gorakhpur Medical College Hospital principal Dr Ganesh Kumar said more than 2,000 JE and AES patients were admitted in the hospital in 2017 of whom 512 had died.

In 2018, over 1,000 patients had been admitted to the hospital of whom 166 had died during treatment, he added.

He said the number of beds in the pediatric ward in the medical college hospital had been increased and the supply of oxygen cylinders was being monitored.

In 2017, more than 60 children had died in the hospital within a couple of days allegedly owing to lack of oxygen.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who hailed from Gorakhpur, said the government had taken a number of preventive measures besides improving the facilities at the health centres.

"We are trying to further improve the facilities but our focus continues to be prevention," he said.

A massive immunisation campaign was underway in the 18 most vulnerable districts in the eastern region of the state, according to the health officials here.

"A team of 2.5 lakh volunteers was also engaged in creating awareness among the people about the diseases....we lay stress on sanitation and ensure immunisation," said a senior UP health department official here.

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