The state of Uttar Pradesh, especially the eastern region has been plagued by the deadly disease Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) for decades. CM Yogi Adityanath, since he was a young MP in the Lok Sabha has been constantly raising this issue, asking for better awareness programs and better preparedness by the government to tackle the deadly disease that has been claiming thousands of lives every year, mostly little children.
Since he became the CM of the state in 2017, Yogi Adityanath has launched a multi-pronged, organized, and well-managed approach to tackle the disease in the state. With widespread immunization initiatives, awareness campaigns that go door-to-door, cleanliness drives, and better-equipped healthcare facilities, the state of Uttar Pradesh has finally achieved what was unthinkable just a few years back. As per the latest data, the encephalitis deaths in the state have fallen by a massive 95% in just 3.5 years of Yogi sarkar in UP.
भोजपुर का हर संवेदनशील शख्स इंसेफ़लाइटिस के दर्द को बखूबी जानता,समझता और महसूस करता है,1977 से चली आ रही ये बीमारी हर साल या तो हज़ारों मासूमों की जान लेती या उन्हें ताउम्र अपंग बना देती,विपक्ष में योगी जी बतौर MP भी इस बीमारी से खूब लड़े और सरकार आने पर बतौर CM भी,नतीजा सामने है pic.twitter.com/fPKrTpsyaW— Shalabh Mani Tripathi (@shalabhmani) October 16, 2020
As reported by Bhaskar, on his last visit to Gorakhpur, CM Yogi Adityanath had stated that AES is in its deathbed in the state. Since 2016, the number of Encephalitis deaths have been reduced by 95% in the state, and in just two more years, it can be completely eradicated from the region. Praising the teamwork of healthcare professionals, vaccine, sanitation, and administrative workers, the CM said that it is the result of an organized approach that the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, which used to see 500-600 cases of hospitalization of children afflicted with Encephalitis in the month of August since the last 40 years, has now seen only 86 cases in August this year.
The steps taken by the Yogi government to tackle Encephalitis
After Yogi Adityanath became the CM, he started the ‘Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome’. A large scale immunisation programme that included door-to-door awareness campaign, named ‘Dastak’ was launched. 15 Block-level Encephalitis treatment centres, mini-pediatric care centres were opened in rural areas. Block-level hospitals were given the facility of at least 3 ventilators. Moreover, over 3.5 lakh officers and employees were provided with training to equip them to respond and deal with AES prevention and treatment.
As per the latest data, Gorakhpur district, the worst AES affected district in all these decades, has registered a massive fall in the number of deaths due to AES and JE. In 2016 and 2017, there were 127 and 114 AES deaths respectively. In 2018, the deaths came down to just 41, in 2019, just 15 AES deaths were recorded and in 2020, upto the month of July, just 5 AES deaths have been recorded in the district.
Similarly, the cases of JE had reduced from 51 in 2017 to just 6 cases in 2020 so far. only 1 death due to JE in Gorakhpur has been recorded in 2010 up to now.
Dastak program was praised by UNICEF
The UP government had launched the Dastak programme in February 2018, with an aim to immunise every child under 15 years of age and carry out widespread sanitation and awareness programmes. The campaign was planned as a holistic programme to educate and provide facilities to the families, not only for vaccination but also for the prevention and treatment of the disease.
With regards to the drive, Yogi Adityanath had stated that for the 38 districts of UP affected by the disease the state health department would be made the nodal agency and other departments like urban development, Panchayati Raj, Women, and Child Welfare, Rural Development, Medical Education, Animal Husbandry and basic education departments would work under them.
A big shout out to #UttarPradesh for immunizing every child in the state against Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome under the #Dastak campaign! 👏#VaccinesWork for #DimagiBukharSeJung#EveryChildALIVE #WorldImmunizationWeek @CMOfficeUP @MoHFW_INDIA pic.twitter.com/4ww8aCdgOx— UNICEF India (@UNICEFIndia) April 25, 2018
The United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) had praised the Uttar Pradesh government led by CM Yogi Adityanath for successfully immunizing all children of the state against Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome.