100 Kids Have Died Due To Encephalitis In Bihar, Govt Seems Clueless About How To Save Them

Source: indiatimes.com

The death toll due to the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome outbreak in Bihar has reached 100 and despite claims made by state government, the number of deaths are increasing with more and more infected children rushing to the hospitals.

Muzzafurpur district is mainly affected by the outbreak and 83 children have succumbed to Encephalitis at Sri Krishna Medical College while 17 died at Kejriwal hospital. The union health minister Harsh Vardhan visited the Muzaffarpur yesterday  and took stock of the situation. Different media reports said that the minister was shown black flags. However, the minister said he has spoken to  “every concerned individual about this issue”.

The situation turned grim when a five year od child while three minsiters around and this enraged the anger of the parents of the children and they confronted the ministers. Vardhan, however, later held a meeting and assured a research that would be undertaken to ascertain the cause of the disease to order any such outbreak in future. He was quoted News18. 

“I assure the people of the area, especially the affected families, that the government will extend all possible help and measures to the state government,” Vardhan said.

Despite all problems and considering the seriousness of this disease, I appreciate the efforts put in by the doctors to ensure efficient treatment to everyone,” he added.

Nitish Kumar, the CM had also expressed grief over the deaths of the children and announced “an ex gratia payment of Rs. 4 lakh to the next of the kin of those who have died”. The lack of awareness about his to tackle the decease is also the reason for outbreak, the CM said.

The health department of the state has cited hypoglycaemia in which the blood sugar level go down as the main reason behind the deaths of the children. Acute Encephalitis Syndrome is a viral diseases that has symptoms like high fever, convulsions and headaches.

In Bihar, doctors treat patients on floor as hospital tries to cope with rush


So chock-a-block are the wards at Muzaffarpur’s Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital with patients suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) that doctors are being forced to treat children on the floor.

At least 43 of the 50 deaths due to AES in Bihar have taken place at this hospital, with Muzaffarpur being the epicentre of the outbreak. Ten other districts have also been affected.

Sri Krishna hospital medical superintendent Sunil Kumar Shahi said, “We have an in-patient bed strength of only 610 whereas the number of patients admitted to our hospital is around 876. We do not refuse any patient, so we put mattresses to treat them on the floor.”

To cope with the rush of patients, the superintendent has converted all 20 beds of the intensive care unit (ICU) into paediatric intensive care units (PICU).

“If we come across patients, who need to be admitted to ICU, we will admit them in the coronary care unit (CCU). Against 14 existing beds at our PICU, I have converted all our 20 ICU beds into PICU, taking the number of beds in PICU up to 34,” Shahi said.

“Given the disease burden, even the central team which is here has suggested increasing the number of PICU beds to 100,” he added.

The government has ensured the availability of all drugs free of cost to AES patients. Sri Krishna hospital is also providing food to patients as well as their attendants. “Though we are not supposed to provide food to patients in PICU, on the advice of health minister Mangal Pandey and principal secretary, health, Sanjay Kumar, I am supplying milk, supplements, fruit, bread and eggs to all AES patients and their attendants on humanitarian grounds,” said Shahi.

The parents of some children being treated at the hospital are satisfied with the facilities provided. Some of them, including Md Aslam Madan Sahni, Ram Bharos Thakur and Gayatri Devi, are hoping the hospital will start supplying diapers free of cost too.