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JE vaccination drive to begin after Durga Puja
Staff Reporter

 GUWAHATI, Oct 4 - The health department will start the adult Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccination drive after the upcoming Durga Puja in the State. The drive will cover altogether five districts where the mortality rate of JE patients is very high, a source in the department told The Assam Tribune.

 According to the source, till October 1, as many as 319 JE cases were reported in the State with a death toll of 51. Among those cases, the highest 24 cases have been reported each from Barpeta, Sonitpur and Tinsukia districts. Meanwhile, four people died of the disease each in Barpeta, Darrang, Morigaon and Sonitpur districts so far. In January last, the department had started an adult JE vaccination drive in Goalpara, Kokrajhar and South Salmara districts but the drive discontinued due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, health workers of Assam have also faced a lot of challenges in addressing the issues related to JE.

During a conversation with The Assam Tribune, a health worker stated that many people do not want to go for a JE test due to the prevailing pandemic.

At many places, the department is facing a manpower crunch, too.

Despite all these challenges, the health workers in the State have also achieved success in providing proper and timely treatment to JE patients.

An official said that recently a 12-year-old female JE patient from the Dimakuchi area in Udalguri district got a new lease of life due to timely intervention of the health officials.

The girl, named Bhanita Boro, contracted JE in the last part of June.

The official said that earlier Bhanita was not in a condition to move even her limbs or other body parts. But, her condition has improved a lot.

The State social welfare department has provided her with a wheelchair as well, the official added.

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