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Friday, June 14, 2024

Encephalitis deaths drop by 66% in East UP – no credit to Yogi Adityanath, who was vilified in 2017 for this very issue?

A news which went largely under the radar in recent times was the massive drop in deaths due to encephalitis in the 14 most-affected East Uttar Pradesh districts, by over 66% in 2018 compared to 2017.

Last month, UP’s Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh informed the UP assembly that 187 people died due to encephalitis in 2018 against 553 such deaths in 2017. The number of encephalitis cases reported in those 14 districts of East UP also dropped from 3817 in year 2017 to 2043 cases last year, a drop of 46%.

In 2019, so far till February 11, no person has died due to encephalitis out of the reported 35 cases, the Minister also informed the assembly.

When Yogi Adityanath took charge as UP CM in March 2017, deaths due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and AES (Acute Encephalitis Syndrome) were an unfortunately common occurrence in Eastern UP and also in parts of Bihar, Odisha and Assam. By some accounts, in the past three decades, the two diseases have claimed more than 50,000 children in Eastern UP alone.

However, the new CM was determined to fight this scourge – The UP government come up with an ‘Action Plan- 2018’ along with the WHO and UNICEF to reduce the mortality count due to JE and AED. From May 2017 onwards, a massive drive was launched to vaccinate 88 lakh children against JE in 38 UP districts. Similarly, a massive sanitation and information campaign was launched this year to check cases of AES, which has no vaccine.

As this report states,

“Early vaccination, segregating pigs from affected habitation, immediate response teams for fogging to stop outbreak, convincing parents to not let their kids sleep on the mud floor, drink water from a ‘India Mark-2’ tap or hand pump, and calling the 108 ambulance helpline immediately if they find any symptoms – Uttar Pradesh government has been working on all this to fight JE & AES last year.”

If Yogi deserved brickbats for deaths in 2017, doesn’t he deserve bouquets now?

Other than muted coverage in some news outlets, no one in MSM has openly credited Yogi Adityanath for this significant achievement as yet.

But in Aug 2017, just 4 months after he had taken charge, when 30 children suffering from encephalitis died over a 48 hour span in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, the media & liberal intelligentsia had their knives out for Yogi Adityanath.

The media even quickly invented a ‘secular hero’ in the whole episode – Dr. Kafeel Khan. We were told that Khan rushed oxygen cylinders from a friend’s nursing home to try and save the children. But as with every narrative put out by Lutyen’s based MSM, the true picture soon emerges in regional papers and social media.

It soon emerged that Dr. Kafeel Khan was a dubious character, to say the least, who had been accused of impersonation & molestation, had been suspended from Manipal University, and it was revealed that he used to steal oxygen cylinders from the Govt. hospital for use in his own nursing home. He was later charged under sections 120-B(criminal conspiracy), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 409(criminal breach of trust by a public servant).

Last year, a murder attempt on Khan’s property dealer brother who was involved in many land disputes, was used by the usual suspects to spin conspiracy theories that Yogi Adityanath is targeting the ‘Gorakhpur hero’ Dr. Kafeel Khan. In Sept, Dr. Khan and another brother of his were arrested on charges of fraud and forging documents – conclusively proving he was a manufactured ‘hero’, just like the ‘hero’ Zafar Rizvi in the recent staged attack on a Kashmiri dry fruit seller turned out to be a holocaust-cheering Hitler lover.

Will people like Tavleen Singh and Sadanand Dhume, who have expressed their vitriolic hate for Yogi Adityanath in the past just because he is a saffron-clad monk turned politician, have the basic decency to applaud this important public health achievement of a young CM?

(Featured Image Source)

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