DIBRUGARH, July 30 � Alarmed by the rising cases of deaths due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the State, the Office of the Joint Director of Health Services here has cancelled the leave of all health workers and paramedical staff for the time being except on medical grounds. The Health Department has launched a vaccination drive and the application of mosquito repellents on a war footing as preventive measures. But the actual work on the field has allegedly been far from satisfactory.
Meanwhile, there are public complaints against the administration of JE vaccines here. Many PHCs have not been supplied the vaccines, though advertisements about the availability of these vaccines were placed in newspapers. Even at the main urban dispensary here, the time schedule of vaccination reportedly does not suit the convenience of the citizens, thereby serving little purpose. This grievance has allegedly not been redressed by the Joint Director of Health Services, Abani Hazarika.
As both JE and AES cases have been steadily increasing in the district, health workers and paramedical staff have been asked to rush immediately to the affected areas with all preventive gear to check the spread of the diseases. The Joint Director of Health Services has initiated a week-long vaccination drive in all the primary health centres and other government hospitals in the district. �After one week of vaccination in government hospitals, the same will be continued on Wednesdays. We want to ensure 100 per cent administration of JE vaccines,� he said. Spraying of DDT and other mosquito repellents has been ordered in all vulnerable areas including different wards in the municipal area here.
The district has recorded 31 JE cases till date this year with six deaths, including that of a child. Seventy-nine cases of AES have been recorded with some 14 deaths. The deaths relating to JE were reported from the Chabua Tea Estate, Thakurthan and Guard Para. All the deceased were not vaccinated, according to Health Department sources. In the previous year from January to July 9, at least 21 people had died due to AES and five due JE.
The break-up of JE cases recorded in six Health blocks in the district is: Khowang (4), Borborooah (4), Lahoal (5), Panitola (3), Tengakhat (7) and Naharani (8). The break-up of AES cases is: Khowang (10), Borborooah (20), Lahoal (10), Panitola (7), Tengakhat (14) and Naharani (18).