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Encephalitis Fears

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  15 Jun 2016 12:00 AM GMT

At a time when Japanese encephalitis has attacked people in Dibrugarh and other parts of Assam, it is distressing to read reports about an acute shortage of vaccines that offer protection against the disease. It is a well-established fact that Japanese encephalitis (JE) has no available treatment. What is offered as treatment is only symptomatic treatment. The only known way of preventing the disease is to protect oneself from Culex mosquito bites and to get vaccited against the disease. Drug distributors claim that despite having placed orders, they have not received the vaccines for JE for the past two months. This is a plea that will not do, since human lives are concerned. The Public Health department of the State government has a responsibility to the State to ensure that the availability of the JE vaccine is not treated on a par with some popular music or video disc or the latest bestseller. Departments of the Assam government exist to ensure that in times of crisis the necessary medicines are made available to protect lives. Such departments should be familiar with the appropriate administrative and legal measures to ensure that the suppliers are life-saving drugs are not allowed to fail any section of the population when any dreaded disease takes an epidemic form. The Union government too has the responsibility to ensure that the country does not remain dependent on supplies from other countries for such life-saving drugs and that manufacture of such drugs takes place within the country.

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