The chief minister flagged off the campaign on Thursday from Kushinagar which is among the worst affected districts along with Gorakhpur.
Lucknow: UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, on Thursday, launched a massive immunisation campaign in 38 districts across the state to combat the deadly Japanese Encephalitis (JE) that claims hundreds of lives each year.
The chief minister flagged off the campaign on Thursday from Kushinagar which is among the worst affected districts along with Gorakhpur. The campaign began with about 200 children getting vaccinated.
UP health minister Siddhartha Nath Singh said that it was Yogi Adityanath who had first raised the issue of ence-phalitis in Lok Sabha in 1998.
“He is fully committed to the eradication of the disease that kills hundreds of children every year and the massive immunisation drive is a step in this direction,” he said.
The minister said that children up to 15 years of age will be included in this campaign and the campaign was deliberately launched from a slum are in Kushinagar to educate the people. The minister said the drive will cover over 88 lakh children for which the central government has provided one crore vaccines.
The campaign will run from May 25 until June 1, 2017, for which the Central government has sent 1 crore vaccines. Senior ministers will launch the campaign in other districts.
Significantly, the Swachchh Bharat campaign is being linked to the drive against encephalitis.
The minister said that about 85 per cent cases of Japanese Encephalitis and AES are reported among dalits and minorities whose living conditions lack cleanliness. In the past 40 years, approximately 40,000 children have died, but the previous governments did not take concrete steps to its complete end.
“Simple steps like ensuring that there is no water logging and keeping the area clean will check acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) and so the cleanliness drive will be run alongside. The chief minister has sought help from MPs, MLAs, ministers and other people’s representatives to join the campaign by issuing an appeal,” Mr Siddhartha Nath Singh said.