Taking serious note of the death of over 550 children in Gorakhpur in 2012 due to Japanese Encephalitis, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) will hold there a public hearing next month for the first time.

According to NCPCR member Yogesh Dube, the State and district administration’s failure to implement the directives of the Commission has prompted to hold a public hearing.

Moreover, despite a Rs. 4,000 crore package being given by the Central government to the State to fight encephalitis, the State administration has no record of where the entire amount was spent.

As per government records, encephalitis has claimed the lives of 1256 children in 2012 out of which 557 deaths were reported from Gorakhpur division alone.

The Commission visited Gorakhpur recently to take stock of situation and to check the preparedness of the administration including health department and discovered severe flaws in water and sanitation facilities.

The entire area was dirty and bounded by unhygienic surroundings. Several drains were full and water logging was common throughout. No fogging took place ever and safe drinking water was not available, it said.

Mr. Dube also visited the BRD Medical College, the only one equipped with facilities to treat encephalitis and held discussion with family members and relatives of the patients and also interacted with health personnel on duty.

It was found that the patients were buying medicines from outside despite being extremely poor.