Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday claimed that his government has been successful in eradicating encephalitis in Uttar Pradesh and alleged that previous dispensations did nothing to prevent the disease in the state.
Speaking at the launch of a campaign aimed at controlling communicable diseases here, Adityanath said encephalitis used to be a “curse” for eastern Uttar Pradesh.
“Due to this, several people died every year from 1977 to 2017. In eastern UP, 2,000-3,000 deaths used to take place every year because of this disease,” he said.
“Under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the state government took on encephalitis and through the Swachh Bharat Mission and other campaigns, we started working with the World Health Organisation,” he added.
“Those who had only given assurances for 40 years could not do anything,” he said referring to previous state governments, and added, “We have been successful in eradicating it (encephalitis) completely. Our forefathers used to say that prevention is more important than cure.” The chief minister also lauded Asha workers’ role in controlling the disease through their door-to-door campaigns to spread awareness among people about how to prevent the disease. “During the last five years, the deadly encephalitis which was a curse for the area, was brought under control and Asha workers’ contribution was important in this,” he said.
“The Asha workers ran awareness programmes and went door to door and educated people on how to prevent the disease and how to tackle the infection,” Yogi said.
Encephalitis is a serious neurological illness that causes inflammation of the brain. Its symptoms may include headache, fever, confusion, stiff neck and vomiting. The disease generally affects children and young adults and often leads to death.
According to the National Health Portal, viruses are the main causative agents in encephalitis cases, although other sources such as bacteria, fungus, parasites, chemicals, toxins and non-infectious agents have also been blamed.
The chief minister further said, “This is an awareness programme, and if you associate yourself with this programme, I am of the view that encephalitis, dengue, chikungunya and kala-azar will be eradicated. We have also taken a pledge to eradicate filaria and tuberculosis, and we will not allow such diseases to last in Uttar Pradesh.” Adityanath said Uttar Pradesh holds the “record” for setting up the maximum number of medical colleges in the last five years.
“We have established a medical college in Siddharthnagar and students have enrolled for the first session. In the coming year, we will set up 17-18 medical colleges in the state so that people can avail services of health experts,” he said.
The CM said his government gave 33 medical colleges to the state and in 17 of them, the academic session has started.
From the next session teaching will start in the remaining ones as well, he added.
“During the last two years, we faced the challenge of coronavirus pandemic and dealt with it properly under the leadership of PM Modi and the world acknowledged it,” he said.
“Uttar Pradesh became a model state as it extended free tests, free vaccination and free treatment to people. The double-engine government is giving double ration to all needy people,” he added.
Adityanath also appealed to people to maintain cleanliness and ensure that there is no water logging in their areas as mosquitoes are the cause of various water-borne diseases like encephalitis, dengue, malaria, kala-azar, chikungunya etc.
He also asked people to get their Ayushman cards made so that they could avail free treatment.
He also asked people to stop open defecation.
“We are providing toilets and houses to each needy and development is also taking place in the health service sector,” he said.
The chief minister also wished people on the occasion of Navratri and Hindu New Year and thanked them for voting the BJP back to power.
On the occasion, he also praised the Kala Namak rice variety grown in the area and said, “Along with the nation, the fragrance of Kala Namak rice is spreading all over the world. Kala Namak rice is selected under ODOP (one district-one product) scheme.” Domariyaganj MP, Jagdambika Pal, who too was present on the occasion thanked Adityanath for visiting the district after becoming CM.
“CM yogi is the first CM who goes to people and enquire about their issues,” Pal said.