In the last-last month of August, a statement was prominently printed in all the major Hindi newspapers of Uttar Pradesh citing Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Yogi’s statement was that there has been a huge reduction in the number of deaths due to encephalitis i.e. Japanese fever at Baba Raghavdas Medical College in Gorakhpur. Newspapers rode this statement of the Chief Minister and exaggerated the claims of reduction in deaths due to Japanese fever.
Newspapers published reports from various sources that the number of deaths due to encephalitis in BRD Medical College has come down considerably due to the efforts of the government. Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharthnath Singh also claimed that there has been a decrease in deaths from encephalitis.
Now the claims of ‘heavy’ and ‘miraculous’ reduction in the number of deaths from encephalitis (AES / JE) have come under controversy. A close study and analysis of the data coming out of the BRD Medical College shows that the statistics of death due to Japanese fever is being manipulated at the administrative level. The National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP), the national data release organization for encephalitis, reported a substantial reduction in deaths from encephalitis in the month of July, altering its own data within a month.
NVDCP had shown 118 deaths from AES in UP and 6 deaths from JE in the month of July, but in the figures released till August, the number of deaths from AES has been reduced to 110 and the number of deaths from JE is only 3 while the figures for deaths in other states. Has increased. This makes it more suspicious that the data is being deliberately manipulated to claim reduction of deaths from encephalitis. While the actual situation is something else.
BRD Medical College Gorakhpur
On August 26, in a news published in the Lucknow edition of Dainik Jagran, the Chief Minister was quoted as saying that there were only 10 deaths due to encephalitis, compared to 200 deaths last year. It was reported in the Times of India on August 31 that deaths from encephalitis had decreased by 50 percent. According to the medical superintendent of BRD Medical College, it was told in the news that ‘183 children died from January to August last year whereas only 88 children have died in the same period this year. It was also said in this news that 80 children died in the month of August last year whereas in August this year only 6 children died.
First of all, we talk about the data of BRD Medical College. In the newspapers, figures were quoted by the Principal of BRD Medical College and Medical Superintendent of Nehru Hospital that deaths from encephalitis had reduced by 50 percent.
In support of the aforesaid claims, BRD Medical College did not release any comprehensive data which could be investigated. The data obtained by this journalist from trusted sources of BRD College clearly shows that the claim of reduction in the number of deaths from encephalitis by 50% is false. Till August last year, there were 182 deaths in BRD Medical College, while 135 children died of encephalitis this year. Thus far there has been a decrease of 47 in deaths from encephalitis compared to the year 2017.
It is not clear whether the BRD Medical College has included the data of patients from Bihar in its figures.
BRD Medical College prepares data for all its patients. BRD Medical College has a dozen districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh – Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Basti, Siddharthnagar, Santakbirnagar, Balrampur, Gonda, Mau, Ghazipur, etc. besides half a dozen districts of western Bihar – East Champaran, West Champaran, Siwan. , Gopalganj, Chapra etc. patients come for treatment. Even a few patients from Nepal come here for treatment.
Now BRD Medical College is presenting the data of the patients of Bihar who come here separately, whereas the patients of Bihar are also included in the figures of last year. With this help, efforts are being made to reduce deaths due to encephalitis.
How to understand data
In order to do a comparative study of encephalitis data accurately, it is necessary to see it at three levels. First at BRD Medical College level, second at Uttar Pradesh level and third at national level. Analysis of the data at all three levels reveals the correct picture.
If the state government is claiming a miraculous reduction in deaths from encephalitis, it should issue a report on the number of deaths and deaths of patients in BRD Medical College for the last five years in August and the number of deaths and deaths all over Uttar Pradesh.
If deaths are less then how can the death rate rise by 12 percent
According to the figures of BRD Medical College, this year, the number of encephalitis patients is almost half as compared to last year, while there is a decrease of 40 in deaths, but surprisingly, the death rate in the college has increased by 12% over the previous year. This year the rate of total deaths has reached 35 percent.
In simple terms, understand the claim of the government in such a way that the deaths due to encephalitis have reduced very much, but the total number of patients who died in the medical college has increased more than last year.
The incidence of encephalitis in BRD Medical College is reduced by half but the jump in death rate by 12% is also surprising because this time the facilities for treating encephalitis in BRD Medical College have increased. Till last year there were 228 beds for children, which has increased to 200 more beds this year. The number of ventilators has also been increased. Trust the claim of the BRD Medical College Administration, then doctors are also in sufficient numbers for treatment, then how has the death rate increased?
There is an outbreak of encephalitis in Gorakhpur and surrounding districts since 1978. In the last 40 years, there have never been such figures in which there has been a sharp decline in the number of patients with encephalitis but the total deaths have increased compared to that. The death rate here has not been more than 30 percent. This is reinforcing those discussions that BRD Medical College is manipulating the data for encephalitis.
This has happened before also. In the year 2015, the BRD Medical College administration was accused of not only allocating AES numbers to 500 patients for reducing encephalitis cases and other diseases were written to these encephalitis patients. This is the reason that the graph of sudden encephalitis cases and deaths in 2015 shows a decline in the figures of a decade in the BRD Medical College, but then in 2016, the graph of encephalitis cases and deaths increased.
Now the question is arising that BRD Medical College is not repeating the story of 2015 again?
BRD ban on release of encephalitis data for 10 months
Before the oxygen scandal of August 10, 2017, BRD Medical College used to provide statistics of encephalitis cases and deaths to the media everyday. Even after a few days after the oxygen scandal, the media kept on giving statistics, but in September 2017, it was stated by the BRD Medical College Administration that the authorized information about encephalitis will now be given from the District Information Office.
Gorakhpur’s District Information Office continued to issue daily updates of encephalitis via email in media offices till the last week of October 2017. But suddenly the encephalitis updates stopped being released. Asked about it, it was said that ‘above’ is forbidden.
On the other hand, the BRD Medical College administration also stopped giving updates on encephalitis. Despite this, for some days, the media kept getting information about encephalitis from some sources. Then the BRD administration also transferred many employees on suspicion of giving data to the media.
The BRD Medical College administration later said that the PRO would give information about encephalitis but they never gave information about it. When asked about this, the principal, the PRO or the medical superintendent often gives a rounding answer. It was also said that the media spreads sensation by misrepresenting the data.
NVBDCP data disturbances
The National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) releases data on encephalitis at the national level. These figures have different state-wise figures of AES and JE. Usually these figures are updated every month. These data are sent by the states to NVBDCP. In the data released by the NVBDCP till August 31, 2018, the number of deaths in UP has been surprisingly low as compared to July 31, 2018. This has happened only in Uttar Pradesh. How can it be that by 31 July 2018, the number of deaths from AES in UP will decrease from 118 to 110 by August 2018?