Himalayan News Service

Biratnagar, June 6:

The government is set to launch an immunisation campaign against Japanese encephalitis in 10 affected districts of the Terai region. The campaign will be launched in Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Parsha, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur from next year. This information was given at a workshop organised by the epidemiology and disease control, main branch office, Biratnagar, on ‘Awareness against encephalitis’ here today. Dr Jitendraman Shrestha said the campaign will be supported by the World Bank, and the first phase will focus on the 10 worst-affected districts.

He said the proposal has been forwarded to the World Bank and an acceptance is expected soon. Speakers added that after the campaign’s implementation in the said 10 districts, it will be launched in 24 additional Terai districts. Children between the ages of 1-15 years will be immunised under the campaign. Japanese encephalitis was seen in Morang and Rupandehi districts for the first time in Nepal in 1978. Till date, 537 people have died of it, while 26,581 are affected, according to a data presented at the programme.

It stated that 2,000 to 4,000 Nepalis are affected with Japanese encephalitis every year. So around 400 people die of it annually. The epedemic was appeared in 1871 for the first time in the world, and was seen in Japan in 1924. Some 6, 000 people died from it at that time.