Health minister in House claims BJD govt took all steps to tackle JE

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Bhubaneswar: Refuting the charges of government inaction in tackling the Japanese Encephalitis in Malkangiri district, Health Minister Pradip Amat today in the Odisha Assembly claimed the State government has taken all possible measures to counter the vector-borne disease menace in the district.

Participating in a three-hour motion moved by the Opposition in the House on the JE outbreak, Amat said, “There is no truth in the allegations made by BJP and Congress. Out of 103 child deaths, 37 died of the Japanese Encephalitis while AES claimed 66 lives.”

He added steps are being taken to check malnutrition in the district.

Firing a salvo at the treasury bench, Opposition leader Narasingha Mishra said during the discussion, “The JE outbreak could have been avoided had the State government taken proper steps. In Malkangiri district, drinking water, hygienic food and sanitation facilities are not available. Besides, basic medical facilities are lacking in the district along with shortage of doctors.”

Mishra said decision of the State government to spend Rs 45 crore from the State exchequer for the recently concluded ‘Make In Odisha’ conclave is unfortunate as only Rs 1.50 crore has been invested for health services in Malkangiri district.

Also read: Encephalitis toll mounts to 121 in Malkangiri

Terming the Rs 12,000 ex gratia announced by the State government for families of deceased each as ‘inadequate’, BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo said, “The Centre has been lending out complete support to the BJD government in Odisha in this regard.”

Singhdeo asked why the Chief Minister has not visited Malkangiri despite more than 100 child deaths reported in the district.

He alleged the Odisha government is hiding actual data on JE casualties as 270 children have died so far because of the vector borne disease.

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