A massive immunization campaign in 38 eastern districts of Uttar Pradesh will be launched by the Yogi government, to protect children from the deadly encephalitis disease that has been claiming hundreds of lives annually.
The state’s health minister Siddhartnath Singh told the reporters, “Yogi Adityanath first raised the issue of encephalitis in 1998 in Parliament and after becoming the chief minister of the state he is fully committed to its eradication and a massive immunization drive will be conducted in 38 eastern UP districts between May 25 and June 11.”
Adding that the CM will launch the campaign from a ‘malin basti’ (slum area) in Kushinagar, the minister said that the children up to 15 years of age will be included in this campaign. The other cabinet ministers and senior leaders will shoulder the responsibility in rest of the districts.
It is noteworthy that the center government has provided one crore vaccines to cover over 88 lakh children.
Adding that a ‘swachta abhiyan’ (cleanliness drive) will also be run alongside, Siddhartnath said, “Though vaccines are available for Japanese Encephalitis, there is no such vaccine for checking acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) and better hygiene is the only way to ward it off.”
“The chief minister has sought help from MPs, MLAs, ministers and other people’s representatives to join the campaign by issuing an appeal,” Siddhartnath added.
In the past forty years, approximately 40,000 children have died of the disease in the region. The minister said that about 85 per cent cases of Japanese Encephalitis and AES are reported among Dalits and minorities.