Apart from issuing directives in this regard, the Union Health Minister also asked the officials to adopt Gujarat Model in order to deal with this life-threatening disease. He had called a high-level meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue. Several senior officials including MoS Rural Development Upendra Kushwaha, former Bihar health minister Ashwini Chaubey, MP Yogi Adityanath and Rajkumar Sharma were present.

All these MPs represent those areas where encephalitis is wreaking havoc. During the meeting, Harsh Vardhan said that an immunization programme needs to be carried out immediately and a suggested a special campaign in this regard on 22nd and 23rd June.

Harsh Vardhan, who is widely credited for running the polio immunization programme successfully in Delhi, said, “I don’t want this to become just a government backed programme. Self-serving firms, Indian Medical Association, religious organizations and even school students should be roped into this so that it can be ensured that every child is being administered vaccine.”

He also stressed on the need to set-up a Virology lab in Muzaffarnagar. Besides, he also said that the 100 ventilators allotted by the Centre to Gorakhpur should be functional within three days after carrying out paper-works with the state.

The Health Minister also said that the people should also be made aware regarding the disease.

“We need to take a cue from the way Gujarat government alerts the people before hand regarding loo with the help of local bodies related to health and environment sector,” Harsh Vardhan said.

Encephalitis has claimed so for 44 lives in Bihar. Though the government is trying to address this issue, the administration also faces challenge to create awareness among the people.

Though there have been talks of dealing with this disease in the past several times as well, no significant development could take place.


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