Centre assures all support to Odisha to check encephalitis

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry today assured all support to Odisha government in tackling the outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis, which has claimed the lives of 27 children so far in the state’s Malkangiri district.

“We are closely monitoring the situation. We are in constant touch with the state government and will provide all support to ensure that quality treatment is done and deaths are prevented,” Health Minister J P Nadda said.

Following Nadda’s direction, Health secretary C K Mishra spoke to Odisha principal health secretary regarding the issue.

Mishra was informed that two teams from the state have visited the endemic area for situation analysis.

State health minister and principal secretary are also at Malkangiri and reviewing the situation and the measures taken to contain the disease.

An eight-member joint clinical team under the leadership of Director of Public Health and additional director are also taking stock of the situation.

Various initiatives for vector control, clinical case management, surveillance and awareness activities have been undertaken, an official statment said.

Health assistance booths have been opened in the affected areas while fogging work has been intensified to control mosquito that spreads the disease.

The first incidence of the disease was reported in Malkangiri district in 2011. While 15 children had died of the disease between 2011 and 2014, there was no report of any death in 2015. However, the disease this year has assumed alarming proportions in the district claiming the lives of 27 children so far.

The Health Ministry has declared Japanese Encephalitis as a notifiable disease and asked states to ensure that all health care providers inform local authorities about such cases, a move aimed at reducing the transmission of the disease and stopping it from spreading to newer areas.