Published: Wed, June 19, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Bihar AES deaths: Locals protest at SKMCH hospital during Nitish Kumar’s visit

Bihar AES deaths: Locals protest at SKMCH hospital during Nitish Kumar’s visit

The death toll has climbed to 105 with both the SKMCH hospital and the privately owned Kejriwal hospital reporting one casualty during the night, the district administration said.

Bhubaneswar: Amid the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar which claimed 109 lives so far, Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das has directed officials to ascertain toxic content in litchi fruit being sold in the state.

"To establish the cause of the disease, there is an urgent need for an inter-disciplinary, high-quality research team", Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan said on Monday following a high-level meeting with officials from the ministry, the All India Institute of Medical Science and the Indian Council of Medical Research.

The disease sets in rapidly and is characterised by plummeting blood sugar, high fever, convulsions and paralysis.

Not only vaccination but all precautionary measures, such as cleanliness and hygiene, among others, are also required to be taken sincerely to ensure that children do not fall prey to the fatal disease, the Commission observed. During his visit to Muzaffarpur on Tuesday, Kumar held a review meeting with health department officials and spoke to doctors treating the patients. Things are being spruced up so that it makes a favourable impression on the chief minister. The hospital superintendent Dr Sunil Kumar Shahi claimed that he had arranged for 34 beds in PICU by converting general ICU into PICU.

Bihar chief secretary Deepak Kumar said, "Awareness is being created that children shouldn't sleep on an empty stomach and should be immediately brought to hospital if they fall sick". According to Kumar, all ASHA workers, ANMs and Anganwadi workers have been asked to distribute ORS in all households and tell the parents about the importance of ORS for children.

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The toll from encephalitis rose to 127 in Bihar by Tuesday, with 108 deaths reported from Muzaffarpur.

"This acute encephalitis syndrome has been recurring in Bihar and the government has not taken any steps".

Instructions were also issued for equipping primary health centres with necessary facilities so that children with symptoms of AES in remote areas could be provided with medical attention closer home since, in several cases, the time involved in travelling to the district headquarters and seeking admission to hospitals had led to worsening of the condition of patients.

Mr. Kumar had also announced an ex-gratia of ₹4 lakh to the families of those who died.

Indian Health Minister Dr.

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