Via The Times of India: Encephalitis epidemic persists in Poorvanchal.
GORAKHPUR: Despite huge claims made by state and central government of providing better medical treatment to encephalitis patients, the mortality rate due to the disease has doubled in the last three years.
As per BRD Medical College reports, in the year 2011, only 18% encephalitis patients died but this year it has risen to 36%. In 2012, the mortality rate was 20.93% whereas in 2013, 29.33%. The increase in the last three years raises question on the claims made by the government.
Though an epidemic ward equipped with modern facilities was built for encephalitis patients in the year 2008 and a lot of money was also spent for medicines and other resources but the percentage of death is rising which is a subject of deep concern.
"The mortality rate is increasing every year, which is an alarming situation. As per the records 3,308 encephalitis patients were reported out of which 627 died in 2011. Whereas in the year 2012, out of 2,517 patients, 527 died and in 2013, 2,110 patients were admitted among which 619 had died," said pediatrician, Dr Sarika Arora.
However, pediatrician and the convener of the encephalitis eradication movement, Dr RN Singh, says, "It requires an intensive research as in the last six to seven years, the condition of wards of Nehru Hospital of BRD medical college has improved but despite of doctor's best efforts the number of patients and percentage of death is increasing.
"One of the reasons could be acute encephalitis syndrome as we have controlled Japanese encephalitis with a vaccination program and other treatments but we are still lacking in controlling AES, which is very dangerous. AES is water borne disease which is the cause of most of the casualties. The region requires clean drinking water and proper sanitation system as it is necessary to prevent deadly AES."
"AES is 100% preventable disease and still we are focusing our energy on cure program rather than on prevention of it," Dr Radha Mohan Das Agarwal, pediatrician and MLA, raised the issue of encephalitis calamity in the legislative assembly on Wednesday.
Talking to TOI, he said, "A lot of people say that water pollution is behind occurrence of AES but I want to ask them that water pollution is not only in Poorvanchal but across the whole country but it needs intensive research.
"The state health minister also accepted the fact that deep research is missing in the area of AES. The chief minister inaugurated the encephalitis ward in BRD medical college but central oxygen pipeline and staff arrangement is still pending," the MLA added.