August 29, 2014

nhrc-logoOdisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar, Aug 29: The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report about recurring cases of Japanese encephalitis year after year and lack of preventive steps in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha.Reportedly, 67 infants died due to this disease in West Bengal this year, and 315 cases were reported in eastern Uttar Pradesh, according to an NHRC press release issued on Thursday.During the monsoon, static water becomes breeding ground for mosquitoes and the presence of a number of piggeries makes the ground for incubation of the disease in pigs.According to the media report, there is a large gap in demand and supply of the preventive vaccine, absence of which makes the children under 10 years of age the most vulnerable to the disease due to nutritional deficiency, with which, according to a UNICEF report, 50 per cent of Indian children and more than 70 per cent of women are affected.Just as it is India has earmarked only 1.67 per cent of the GDP for health sector in 12th Five Year Plan which is very low and India is likely to miss the Millennium Development Goal on Child Mortality.Allegedly, those who survive after contracting the disease were likely to become mentally or physically deficient for life.A large number of deaths due to the disease shows the lack of preventive inoculation of infants in all the traditionally affected districts such as Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Malda, Jalpaigudi and Siligudi in West Bengal.The Commission has observed that the contents of the newspaper report, if true, amounts to a serious violation of human rights of children.Accordingly, a notice has been issued to the Chief Secretaries of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha calling upon them to submit a detailed report within six weeks.

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