JE control fund delayed: Minister

Kathmandu, September 12:

The ministry of health and population is to forward the issue of delay in disbursement of funds promised by the World Bank and the Department for International Development to fight Japanese Encephalitis (JE) at the cabinet meeting for prompt solution. Assistant minister for health and population, Nichhe Shumshere Rana, at a press conference today, said the delay was a result of lengthy procedures the ministry had to follow and some policy level differences between the donor and the recipient agencies. The donor agencies had promised Rs 104 million to spend in several programmes aimed at preventing spreading of Japanese Encephalitis.

“We have serious procedural problem that caused delay in exploiting donation from the WB and DFID,” he said. “We will propose it in the cabinet and discuss about solving policy-related problems at the earliest,” minister Rana said. The ministry confirmed 204 deaths of the 1249 reported Japanese Encephalitis (JE) cases. Ministry officials confessed that actual death toll might be higher as the government registered only those cases reported by the hospitals.

According to the Epidimology Disease Control Division (EDCD) under the health ministry, 55 of the 287 reported JE patients died at the Bheri Zonal Hospital, 42 of the 196 patients died at the Seti Zonal Hospital, and 20 of the 124 JE patients died at the Tikapur Primary Health Center. “There is no specific treatment for Japanese Encephalitis. What we expected from the donors was vaccination to prevent it,’ said Dr Sharala Malla.