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Call for vaccination in Assam to fight Japanese Encephalitis

Participants of a recent Assam Science Society (ASS) interactive meet, held on 21.08.2010 at the North East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat called for steps to engage Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Dibrugarh and the North East Space Application Centre (NESAC), Umium for making predictions on the possible sites of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) outbreak in upper Assam districts.

The participants of the session also suggested that vaccination programmes to prevent outbreak of the disease should be made universal in the vulnerable areas.

Dr. Bimal Kar, General Secretary of ASS said in a statement that both the RMRC and the NESAC have been conducting such studies, using satellite imageries, in relation to the district of Dibrugarh for the past couple of years. They have also included Sivasagar district this time for such studies.

Steps to prevent outbreak of the disease acting on the predictions made by the two institutions would have helped controlling the disease, said the ASS referring to the observations made by the participants of the interactive session.

There should be intense campaigns to make the biological pest control devices popular for bringing under control the growth in the number of the culex mosquito that causes the disease. Special attentions should be paid to make the materials associated with such pest control measures easily available.

The pig farmers should also be made aware of the need to adopt scientific methods to raise their pigs. And health care facilities and transportation system in the areas affected by the disease should be improved.

Besides, proper attention should be paid to improve the economic condition of the people of those areas and effective measures should be taken to ensure supply of nutritious food to the children of these areas, opined the participants of the interactive session.

The participants of the interactive session also called upon the authorities concerned and the NGOs to work in tandem to make the people aware of the threats posed by Japanese Encephalitis to public health. They should chalk out extensive action plan in this regard, said the participants.

Dr. Kar said that for the past couple of years, the RMRC and NESAC have been passing on their findings on the possible areas of outbreak of the deadly disease to the district administration and the health authorities of Dibrugarh district.

The predictions of the RMRC and the NESAC were by and large (80 per cent to 85 per cent) proved to be correct. Steps taken on the basis of these predictions would have prevented outbreak of the disease to a great extent.

The ASS decided to intervene into the matter with a view to involving the scientific community of the State in fighting the disease.

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