Will Modi visit Bihar as kids continue to die, encephalitis spreads

PM Modi

Patna, June 20: Senior BJP leader and former Union Minister C.P. Thakur has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Bihar's Muzaffapur, where at least 118 children have died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

In a letter to Modi, Thakur, who is currently a Rajya Sabha member, requested him to visit the state-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) to take the stock of the situation and also appealed for financial help to the victims' families.

He also demanded a super-speciality research centre be set up in Muzaffarpur to study the cause of AES epidemic. "A decision to set up a biochemical lab could be announced like any Central government institution with multi-specialty facility in Muzaffarpur to soothe public ire," he wrote in the letter.

Last Sunday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visited Muzaffarpur and two days ago, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited the SKMCH.

After death of 118 children in Muzaffarpur, more than two dozen cases of AES deaths have been reported from other districts of Bihar in the last twenty four hours.

According to health officials here, the deaths have been reported from Patna, Bhagalpur, Banka, Sitamarhi, Samastipur, East Champaran and West Champaran.

As per the official figures, so far 96 children died in Muzaffarpur's state-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), 16 in private Kejriwal hospital, two in Nalanda Medical College Hospital in Patna among others.

A senior health official in Muzaffarpur on Thursday, however, said that the situation has been improving here.

He said a team of specialist doctors sent by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan reached SKMCH on Wednesday night. Ten additional ambulances have been put into services in the worst-affected areas. Besides, 16 Nodal Officers have been deployed at the private health centre's in the affected blocks.

Security at SKMCH's has been tightened in view of several TV news reporters violating norms and entering ICUs where AES patients were being kept.

Gopal Shankar Sahni of SKMCH said apart from malnutrition and consumption of litchi in empty stomach, heatwave condition triggers AES outbreak year after year.IANS 

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