Meningococcal meningitis has continued to claim lives in Meghalaya, even as the authorities plan to launch a massive vaccination programme.
The growing number of cases of patients affected by meningitis has become a cause for concern for the state health authorities.
Local authorities have plans to undertake the vaccination programme in phases here.
"The moment we will receive the vaccines, we are going to undertake vaccination. The programme is already fixed. The programme will be executed in three phases. First phase will be for 3.5 lakhs of population. Second phase will be for 3 lakhs population and third phase will be for 3.6 lakhs population," said Dr. A. S. Kynjing, Director of health service (DHS).
People, however, complain that the government is not taking sufficient steps to control the deadly disease.
"I personally feel that government has done precious little. Inspite of the fact that union health ministry has issued the direction for mass vaccination. But today, if you will buy vaccines from Shillong, it will cost between Rs. 360 to 550. Those, who have it, can get themselves inoculated but those who do not, it's too bad for them. " David, a resident of Shillong.
Meningitis is caused by an infection in the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord of a person. But it is curable, if treated promptly and with care.
A major epidemic in India had occurred in 1986, which caused 686 deaths, and over 7,400 reported cases. By D.Henpilen