Medical authorities in Uttar Pradesh are working overtime to ensure the vaccination of children so that they don't become victims of the dreaded Japanese Encephalitis fever. The fever continues to infect a large number of people across the country. A large number of women in Gorakhpur District were seen lining up outside the medical centre with their children here, as the vaccination programme went into overdrive.
"I had come here to get my daughter vaccinated for Japanese Encephalitis. The first dose has been given to her. The second dose would be given to her when she is 16 months old. This is a very dangerous disease and all mothers should get their children vaccinated for it and they should be informed about it," said Bindu Singh, a resident.
The mosquito-borne disease can cause fever, convulsions and coma and is more likely to kill children than adults.
The Chief Medical Officer of Gorakhpur District M.P.Singh said only children upto the age of two are being vaccinated.
"This vaccine is only being given to those children who come under the routine immunization programme. So, it is being given to those children who are one or two-years-old. But the children who are five, ten or 15 years old are not being vaccinated. So, they would be deprived from the second dose of the vaccine. Hence, this drive is commendable, but will not be very successful," said M. P. Singh.
Massive water logging and lack of sanitation facilities in the flood-prone low-lying areas of Gorakhpur region happen to be a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, fuelling a possible outbreak encephalitis.