New Delhi: Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee regarding neo-natal deaths in the state due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and offered help of the central government.
In his letter, he stated that the flow of reports from West Bengal on neonatal deaths and fatalities from AES and JE had prompted him to send specialist teams to the affected areas during the current month.
The minister states that there are infrastructure issues that need to be addressed as we are only a year away from the deadline for meeting of millennium development goals on mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) parameters.
Regarding the deaths due to JE-AES in north Bengal, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said his ministry has stepped up the immunization drive against JE and cleared the installation of urgently needed hospital infrastructure in the affected areas. He notes that he has himself flagged off a mass immunization drive in June in Bihar.
Dr Harsh Vardhan assured Banerjee of his personal interest in extending all facilities to help her tide over the crisis.
He has also recommended, for a start, intensive and extensive consultations between the state and central officials on the steps to be taken on an emergency basis, and also on the permanent measures that would be necessary to avoid such tragedies in the future.