The Blame Game Politics Over Dying Kids Of Malkangiri

**Malkangiri/ Bhubaneswar**: The State Vice-President of Odisha Pradesh Committee, Pradeep Majhi was seen carrying the dead body of a child and rallying over to the district collector’s office, making it too evident that politics has taken a forefront even in the death of small children.

The death toll due to Japanese Encephalitis mounted to 35 in last 27 days with the death of two more kids today As the death toll of the innocent children keeps on increasing in Malkangiri district on a daily basis, the blame game between various political parties have popped up its ugly head.

Pradeep Majhi, ,the former MP, sporting a #Wakeupnaveen T-shirt, staged dharna with the body of three kids in front of the Collector’s residence demanding 5 lakh compensation to each of victim’s family and vaccination to all children in the district at the earliest.

“The virus has been claiming lives in Malkangiri for the last 5 years, but it is very unfortunate that the State Government was not able to direct vaccines from New Delhi to this place over these years. I have one dead child in my arms. The ruling party is not concerned about the welfare of the tribals at all, and they are left to die. We will stage protest until we get our answers,” said Majhi.

He also demanded the vacant doctors’ post in the district headquarters hospital be filled up. Majhi flayed the State government for failing to contain the vector-borne disease as it continues to claim life one after another.

“If no specific action is taken within an hour, we will call for a district-wide strike. The affected children should be immediately shifted to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar for proper treatment,” demanded Majhi.

Meanwhile, the District Collector has cancelled the leaves of all government officials in the district and has asked them to remain alert as the situation turns grimmer day by day.

To control and pacify the situation, the National Health Mission on Monday had sanctioned Rs 50 lakhs assistance for purchase of medicines and necessary equipment for the area.

The Health Minister, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and the Health Secretary, Arati Ahuja rushed to the spot on Monday and stayed two nights in the tribal area to take stock of the situation. They held review meetings with the concerned authorities to find out measures to tackle the situation.

“At present, 67 affected children are being treated in the District Headquarters Hospital, Malkangiri. The vaccines cannot be administered now to the affected kids. Out of the 30 dead, 17 died due to JE and 13 died due to AES. We are holding talks with the Central Health Ministry to tackle this situation,”informed Arati Ahuja, Health Secretary to the media persons in the capital city.

All seem to have suddenly woken up to this situation which has been prevailing for the last few years. The ruling party is waiting for the Centre’s aid and directives, whereas the opposition seems to play up the whole episode to garner political mileage.