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Published On: Sun, Jun 16th, 2019

93 Children Die in Muzaffarpur as Bihar Reels Under Acute Encephalitis

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TWOMUZAFFARPUR (Bihar ): The deadly Acute Encephalitis Syndrome has claimed the lives of twenty more children in just a day, taking the number of deaths to 93 in June alone in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur. As the state grapples with the fatal disease, the Union Government has announced a series of measures including 100 beds in the ICU for children in Muzaffarpur.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had visited the state today to take stock of the situation as the number of casualties from the AES and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) cases continue to rise. Many of them died due to hypoglycemia, a condition caused by low blood sugar. The minister said the Centre would set up a state-of-the-art research centre in Muzaffarpur within a year to deal with the menace of the disease.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief over the children’s death in Muzaffarpur and ordered payment of Rs four lakh as ex-gratia to the next of the kin of the deceased, an official release said. Kumar also directed the officials of the Health department and the district administration as well as doctors to take all possible measures to tackle the disease.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan reached Sri Krishna Medical College & Hospital in Muzaffarpur, to review the situation prevailing due to the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome.
Harsh Vardhan, accompanied by Union Minister of State for Health Ashwani Kumar Choubey and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey, visited the state-owned Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH). “The Ministers are holding a closed-door review meeting with the doctors and health officials to take stock of the situation,” a district health official said.
“I have personally talked to every concerned individual about this issue. I have talked to every official and every minister to ensure that everything is being done to fight this disease,” Harsh Vardhan said after the review.
Till Sunday 9 am, 93 children had died at the state-run SKMCH and the Kejriwal Hospital, which was run by a trust, a press release issued by the Muzaffarpur district administration said. According to the release, 69 children had died at the SKMCH, while 14 died at the Kejriwal Hospital due to suspected cases of AES.
Officials, however, maintained that a majority of the victims, most of whom were below 10 years of age, had fallen prey to hypoglycemia, a condition caused by a very low level of blood sugar and electrolyte imbalance.
Principal Secretary (Health) Sanjay Kumar had said a few days ago that the disease had affected 222 blocks in 12 districts, especially in Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sheohar and East Champaran.

Tensions surmounted at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital, where Harsh Vardhan was visiting, as people demonstrated the alleged inadequate services by the hospital and negligence by politicians. Black flags were shown to his convoy as public outrage continued through the minister’s visit.(With Agency Inputs ).





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