Japanese Encephalitis Disease in Koraput, Odisha and death of 27 people

The outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis in Koraput, and death of 27 people in the disease once again exposed the vulnerability of the healthcare management system to factors causing pandemic diseases. Coming closely on the heels of Nagada incident, the incidence of deaths in 21 villages in Koraput is a grim indicator of the poor response mechanism in place to fight sudden emergence of diseases. The situation is further complicated by absence of doctors in remote tribal villages– which delays treatment and allows faster spread of diseases. The disease which transmits from pigs to human beings through mosquitoes need to be tackled with a coordinated approach of the health department and the animal husbandry department. Pig firms need to be relocated to different places and veterinary doctors should accompany regular doctor’s team to fight the situation.

National Health Mission for disbursing special funds for purchasing machines and equipment to tackle the disease. The state government has sent special teams and established Health Assistance centers-which although late-are welcome steps. There is need of an immunization programs in the area in this regard. The government must consider the incidence as a lesson and take preventive measures to stop recurrence of the disease. All steps should be taken to ensure posting of doctor in tribal area hospitals.

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