Guwahati: Assam health department has drawn up a comprehensive action plan to control further spread of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) which has claimed 165 lives so far.

The state health department has stepped up measures to tackle the situation with intensive fogging initiated in the affected areas and awareness campaigns launched by involving the local panchayats, a health department official said.

Measures are being taken to ensure adequate supply of vaccine and medicine to big hospitals, district hospitals and other health centres and procure laboratory testing kits for quick diagnosis of cases.

The Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED) has been asked to speed up conversion work of shallow tube wells into deep tube wells, specially in the affected areas, to bring down high incidence of AES cases.

The PHED has been asked to ensure proper mapping of areas where water-borne diseases are acute and take necessary measures to provide clean drinking water, the official said adding vaccination drives were carried out in the districts of Tinsukia, North Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Dhemaji and Golaghat in Upper Assam early this year.

The Chief Minister, who reviewed the situation yesterday, had directed the officials concerned to ensure that there was no shortage of medicine and to procure necessary medicines, specially life saving drugs and make them available to all health centres.

AES accounts for 60 per cent cases covering 24 districts while JE cases was 40 per cent, mostly in the Lower Assam districts of Barpeta, Nalbari, Darrang, Kamrup (Rural) and Kamrup (Metro).

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Free Press Journal