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Steps to end encephalitis are not getting desired results, says JP Nadda

Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Monday admitted in Lok Sabha that its measures to end encephalitis were not getting desired results as members voiced concern over the disease claiming lives of 1,495 people, mostly children, so far this year.

In a bid to increase efficacy of its drive against ‘brain fever’, which has been rather severe in parts of eastern UP and Bihar, the union health minister said the Centre will also involve MPs, MLAs and local bodies in this.

Yogi Adityanath (BJP) was critical of the Centre, ruled by his party, saying whatever it was doing was not visible on the ground and more children have died in his constituency Gorakhpur than those killed by terrorism across the country.

“Despite our policies and funding, the results which should have come are not coming. We are alive to the sentiments expressed by members and committed to deal with the disease,” Nadda said.
Citing figures, he said five most affected states except for Tamil Nadu have failed in spending central fund released to fight ‘brain fever’. Bihar and West Bengal have used less than one per cent, Assam less than 10 per cent while UP has not sent even details, he said. Tamil Nadu has spent over 49 per cent. While Japanese Encephalitis has been contained to some extent due to immunisation, which has been completed in 59 of 60 high priority districts. Nadda said contaminated drinking water is a key reason behind encephalitis and regions having a low coverage of routine immunisation too suffer more from from it. Measures require inter-ministerial consultations and there are many “bottlenecks”, he said.
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