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Post-JE treatment

Siliguri, Aug. 12: The director of health services said a rehabilitation centre would be opened at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital for treatment of patients who suffer from paresis or partial loss of voluntary movement of limbs after recovering from Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome.

According to Biswaranjan Sathpathy, the centre will be established under the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at NBMCH.

“We had proposed to the Union government earlier this year that such a centre be established at NBMCH and Midnapore Medical College and Hospital. The Central government will bear 75 per cent of the total cost. The rest of the funds will be contributed by the state government. Although we got the approval sometime back, the funds are yet to be sanctioned. However, we have decided to start the rehabilitation centre at NBMCH immediately on priority basis because of the outbreak (JE and AES) in north Bengal region,” said Sathpathy.

Bhushan Chakraborty, the assistant director of health services from Swasthya Bhawan in Calcutta, today visited NBMCH and held a meeting with hospital officials, Darjeeling district health officials and PWD officials regarding the setting up of the centre.

NBMCH sources said the centre would have 10 beds and the head of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation would be its nodal officer.

Doctors said patients would be given physiotherapy at the rehabilitation centre.

“Patients with JE or AES suffer from high fever, convulsions, unconsciousness and around 30 percent of those who recover suffer from paresis. This is a condition when a patient experiences weakness or partial loss of voluntary movement of the limbs. They may experience stiffness or difficulty in sitting and standing too. It is different from paralysis where the patient loses voluntary movement of the limbs completely because of stroke or spinal injury. So, they need physiotherapy, which will be given at the rehabilitation centre,” said a doctor.

At present, the doctor said, the JE and AES patients are given physiotherapy in wards which are overcrowded.

“A separate centre will be convenient for doctors as well as patients for physiotherapy,” he added.

One more person died from AES at NBMCH today, taking the encephalitis toll in north Bengal since January to 147.