Karnataka Health Minister launches vaccine campaign against brain fever

  • Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar launched a vaccination campaign for Japanese Encephalitis (JE) or brain fever in Karnataka schools, starting on Monday. The aim is to vaccinate 48 lakh children, aged 1-15 years, under this campaign.
  • JE fever can cause permanent disability, including nerve weakness and mental retardation in children.
    Sudhakar said children of all government and private schools will be vaccinated in the next week. Arrangements are being made in all health institutions, Anganwadi centres and other community areas. The vaccine will be supplied free of cost by the government, he said.
  • Expressing concern over permanent disabilities, Sudhakar said JE has been identified in 24 countries worldwide, and India is one of them. On an average, 68,000 cases are reported every year with a mortality rate of 20-30 per cent, and intellectual disability in 30-50 per cent of cured cases.
  • In Karnataka, ten districts have been identified as JE endemic districts — Ballari, Raichur, Koppal, Vijayapura, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Mandya, Dharwad, Chitradurga and Davangere. Children in these districts are given the first vaccine dose after nine months of birth, and the second dose after 1.5 years, the minister explained.
The Union health ministry has suggested that the drive be taken up in Bagalkot, Dakshina Kannada, Gadag, Hassan, Haveri, Kalaburagi, Tumakuru, Ramanagara, Udupi and Yadgir districts. Sudhakar said children aged 1-15 years will be given a single dose of the vaccine.


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