Government of Odisha in collaboration with the UNICEF organised Workshop on Preparedness, Response for AES, Japanese Encephalitis

Koraput: The Commissioner cum Secretary to Government of Odisha, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Pramod Kumar Meherda inaugurated a Two Days workshop on the Preparedness and Response to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalopathy in the J.E. vulnerable district which are mostly in southern part of Odisha.

The workshop has been organised by Government of Odisha in collaboration with the UNICEF. The workshop was attended by Ms. Yumi Bae, Chief of Field Office (CFO), UNICEF Odisha; Dr. Vivek Virendra Singh, Health Specialist, UNICEF Odisha; Mr. T. Ao, Regional Divisional Commissioner (RDC), Southern division, Berhampur; Mr. Anupam Saha, District Collector Koraput; Mr. K Sudarshan Chakravarthy, District Collector Malkangiri; Ms. Rashmita Panda, District Collector Nabarangpur; Mrs. Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar, District Collector Rayagada; Mr. Anjan Kumar Manik, District Collector Kalahandi; Dr. J. K.Tripathy, Director Public Health (DPH); Dr.Binod Kumar Mishra, Director Family Welfare (DFW); Dr. Bijayeeni Mohapatra, Dean & Principal of Saheed Laxman Nayak (SLN) Medical College & Hospital, Koraput; Dr. Madan Pradhan, Joint Director, National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP), National Health Mission (NHM), Odisha; Dr. P. K. Sen, Director, NVBDCP, Government of India; Prof. Jacob John, Professor Emeritus, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore; Dr. Kayla Laserson, Country Director, India, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta; representatives from National Centres for Disease Control (NCDC), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) institutes like the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC)-Bhubaneswar and Vector Control Research Centre (VCRC)-Puducherry; other senior state officials & district officials from Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Jajpur districts; representatives from UNICEF, WHO, and UNDP.

Objectives of the workshop were:
To review preparedness of district collectors led preparedness plans for response to public health emergencies like AES/JE/Acute Encephalopathy that occurred in Malkangiri in the year 2016
To formalize a state led consortium of state, national and global partners to respond to public health emergencies in Odisha
To integrate essential maternal and child health services in public health preparedness and response plans.
Development Partners like UNICEF, PHFI, AIIMS Bhubaneswar, and ICMR-RMRC are supporting the state government to strengthen the Strategies for AES, JE and Acute encephalopathy Preparedness and Response in Odisha.

During the workshop, Mr. K Sudarshan Chakravarthy, District Collector Malkangiri, shared his districts experience in response to the outbreak in 2016 and preparedness for future.

In his key note address the Commissioner-Cum-Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Pramod Meherda said, “Strengthening Preparedness and Response capacity to address public health emergencies like the AES/JE/Acute Encephalopathy outbreak that occurred in Malkangiri district in 2016 isa priority for Odisha state. I am happy that during this workshop we have formalized a consortium of state, national, and global agencies like NCDC, ICMR, PHFI, CMC, Vellore, CDC, Atlanta, AIIMS-Bhubaneswar, with the support of UNICEF toprevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies due to the diseases like AES, JE and Acute Encephalopathy. Organization of such a high level technical workshop at regional level and in a district in southern Odisha, shows the commitment of the state government for improving health systems capacity in Koraput region.”

Delivering hisaddress, the RDC, Southern division, Berhampur, Mr. T. Ao said, “Public health emergency like outbreaks of AES, JE, Acute Encephalopathy have multiple and complex determinants. Hence effective response for such emergencies requires multi-sectoral response led by the district collectors. I congratulate all district collectors for their sincere efforts in responding to such emergencies. Government of Odisha is committed to providing the highest level of administrative leadership for preparedness and response to public health emergencies in the state.”

Speaking at the event, District Collector Koraput, Mr. Anupam Saha said, “I feel proud to be hosting the first of its kind national level workshop for public health emergency preparedness for AES/JE/ Acute Encephalopathy and other diseases in the region. Koraput has started an intensive campaign to reduce the disease burden due to malaria and other communicable diseases in the region and this workshop with provide key technical inputs for success of the campaign.”

Speaking at the inaugural function, the Dean and Principal, SLN Medical College & Hospital Prof. (Dr.) Bijayeeni Mohapatra said, “I am very happy that the first event at the SLN Medical College & Hospital is a public health event which has brought together technical experts and practitioners from across the country. Koraput medical college will strive to cater to the contextual needs of the tribal population in the region.”

Speaking at the event, Director NVBDCP, Govt. of India, Dr. P. K. Sen said, “We are facing public health problem of AES including JE in different parts of the country including Odisha. Last year in this part of the state, we noticed acute brain diseases affecting small children. I congratulate the state for the aggressive steps being taken with multi stakeholder approach led by the state NVBDCP and actively supported by UNICEF. The Govt. of India, NVBDCP is ready to provide all supports to the state as and when needed.”

Speaking at the event, Professor Emeritus, CMC, Vellore, Professor Jacob John said, “Acute febrile diseases need to be dealt with scientific acumen and very good laboratory support. I am happy to see a collaborative approach for strengthening surveillance and response capacity in the region. Outbreak of diseases like AES / JE occur in pockets of depravation. A sustainable repose in such regions should include addressing issues of malnutrition and malaria and strengthening immunization for preventable diseases. I am glad to see coming together of so many administrators, technical experts and implementers in such a hard to reach district and I congratulate Odisha state for this effort.”

Speaking at the event, Country Director, India, CDC, Atlanta, Dr. Kayla Laserson said, “Health security at global level depends on the preparedness and response capacity at the local level, like here in Koraput region. CDC will be happy to provide epidemic intelligence support for preventing, detecting and responding to public health emergency in Odisha.”

Speaking at the event, Chief, UNICEF Odisha, Ms. Yumi Bae said, “UNICEF congratulates the state for its efforts in strengthening preparedness and response capacity for public health emergencies focusing on tribal and hard to reach districts. We will continue to support the government of Odisha in its resolve to improve the health of the most marginalized through partnerships, focus on social determinants, and building health system resilience for continuity of life saving maternal and child health services.”