Deaths due to encephalitis in Uttar Pradesh have come down by 65 per cent in the past two years due to sincere efforts by the government, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Wednesday.
"I started the battle against encephalitis in 1998. At that time there was an acute shortage of resources at Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College in Gorakhpur but today the college has all the facilities.
"Due to sincere efforts of the state government, the death toll has now been reduced by 65 per cent during last two years," the chief minister said at an event.
The Adityanath government had drawn flak over the death of scores of children at the BRD hospital in August 2017, months after it came to power. Gorakhpur, which the chief minister represented for nearly 20 years in Lok Sabha, has been for long the epicentre of Encephalitis outbreak in the state.
According to the state government, more than 5,400 cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) were reported in the state in 2017, leading to 748 deaths.
"Earlier, encephalitis patients were neglected as it was considered an unknown disease," the chief minister said.
But after taking charge as chief minister in 2017, Yogi Adityanath said, he held the first meeting on encephalitis and immediate steps were taken to make people aware about the disease.
The Chief Minister was addressing a gathering after inauguration of a three-day national seminar of Indian Society of Trauma and Acute Care (ISTAC) organised by King George's Medical University's (KGMU) Trauma Surgery Department.
"The government departments were asked to make joint efforts to tackle the encephalitis menace and people were told that prevention is better than cure," he said.
"Such seminars will help the government in eradicating encephalitis in the next two-three years," he added.