Encephalitis: Free cooked food for ailing children, pregnant mothers in Malkangiri

Malkangiri/Bhubaneswar:  With the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) toll mounting to 44 in Malkangiri district today with the death of two children,  the Odisha government has decided to provide free cooked food to the ailing children and pregnant mothers in the affected villages of the district.

Talking to media persons after the meeting here this afternoon, Malkangiri collector K Sudarshan Chakravorty said the district administration is taking all care of the family members who are bringing their children to the district headquarters hospital (DHH). “We have made all arrangements to provide them accommodation and food. Apart from this, arrangement has been made for their return to their native place,” he added.

“As per the instruction of the state government, arrangements will be made to provide hot cooked food for lunch and dinner to the children in the age group of 6-10, pregnant and lactating mothers in the affected villages. The purpose of providing cooked food is an additional nutrition supplement to check malnutrition in these villages,” he added.

Meanwhile, the National Health Mission (NHM) has sought permission from the Centre for Encephalitis vaccination in other districts of Odisha barring Malkangiri district where the disease has assumed alarming proportions with the death of 44 children.

Briefing the media in the capital city today, NHM director Shalini Pandit said she has written a letter to the Centre to provide adequate number of vaccines for the children in other districts if there is no problem.

She also requested the people to seek the advice of the doctors before giving vaccines to their children unofficially.

She further said that the state Health department has got the permission of the Centre for vaccination in Malkangiri, Balasore, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts in November and December.