New Delhi, July 8: As the fight against AES outbreak in Assam gets intense, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan assured that the central government will provide all necessary help to the state. In this regard, the Health Minister has sent a central team to review the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) situation in view of recently reported cases in Assam and also directed the Ministry to extend all support and assistance to the state government.
Union Minister said in a statement said, “I am closely monitoring the situation. The Health Ministry is coordinating with the Assam government for the prevention and management of JE to ensure that the cases don't rise in the state.” He also said the Union Health Ministry is providing all logistical and technical support to the Assam government in terms of surveillance and diagnostic kits to strengthen their efforts in dealing with the JE in the state.
Noting that community participation and empowerment are the most crucial to the prevention of JE, Dr Vardhan has urged all the stakeholders to start rigorous awareness campaigns regarding the preventive steps to be taken by the communities. All 27 districts of Assam have been covered under the JE vaccination campaign (for 1-15 years) followed by the routine immunization as part of the Immunization Programme.
For the diagnosis of the disease, till date 28 Sentinel Surveillance Hospitals have been identified and the Union Health Ministry is providing diagnostic kits to Assam free of cost, said the statement. For rehabilitation of JE disabled patients, the Centre has provided funds for the strengthening of two Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) departments at Dibrugarh Medical College and Guwahati Medical College.
JE is vector-borne encephalitis transmitted by Culex groups of mosquitoes. These mosquitoes breed mainly in rice fields and large water bodies rich in aquatic vegetations. Migratory birds along with pigs in the community play an important role in the transmission of JE from one area to other areas.