Union Health Minister Held an emergency meeting today to review the increasing cases of Japanese encephalitis

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Held an emergency meeting today to review the increasing cases of Japanese encephalitis in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

I am extremely distressed at the runaway conquest of encephalitis and it is high time extraordinary steps were taken to stymie it. I have asked the Ministry’s officials to work in tandem with their counterparts in the states to identify the most vulnerable districts within a day and the actual immunization will take place over June 22 and 23.

I don’t want this to be a purely government exercise. We must involve the voluntary sector, Indian Medical Association, religious organizations doing social work, even school children, to ensure that all children are brought to the immunization centres.The ultimate objective is to prevent disease occurrence by early diagnosis, implementation of effective control measures and high vaccine coverage with strong and active surveillance system

I am giving full authority to all concerned to go on the overdrive. We must have a total immunization campaign for encephalitis in the affected districts.

I have also asked the officials of UP and Bihar to approach the Natural Resources Defence Council and the Indian Institute of Public Health to replicate the early warning system installed in Ahmedabad. My ministry will be happy to extend all possible assistance to put in place a preparedness plan.

Apart from the immunization campaign, I will dedicate resources of the Ministry to research on Encephalitis. We have to get to the cause and then evolve into a world knowledge provider on encephalitis because many other countries are also hit by this disease.

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