Children’s deaths: Five teams of medical experts to Bihar

Children’s deaths: Five teams of medical experts to Bihar

Agency News

New Delhi, June 19: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday directed five teams of senior pediatricians and paramedics to be sent to Muzaffarpur, Bihar for management of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in the affected districts and to immediately strengthen the state efforts in this regard.

Chairing a review meeting to take a stock of the ongoing public health measures for the management of the cases, Vardhan directed ten pediatricians (including five senior consultants) and five paramedics from RML Hospital, Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge Medical College will be part of these teams.

'The teams will strengthen the clinical care to the existing patients in the hospitals and also strengthen surveillance of cases from the peripheral areas,” Vardhan stated.

‘A high-level central team led by Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, MoHFW has been permanently stationed in the area to monitor the operations since the past three days. Teams have also been constituted for socio-economic survey in these areas to identify and pinpoint causes linked with the economic status,' the Union Health Minister stated.

Besides, ten additional ambulances have been put into action in the most affected blocks of the districts for round the clock services. Also, 16 nodal officers (teams of senior doctors and an administrative officer) have been deployed at the PHCs in the affected blocks.

To further strengthen the health infrastructure and facilitate the transportation of patients to the health facilities, the State Government has also made a provision to reimburse the ambulance charges if the patients are shifted privately by the family to the hospitals.

On Tuesday, the Minister said, 'In order to gain deeper knowledge into the factors causing high child mortality in Muzaffarpur and neighboring districts of Bihar, where increased cases of AES and JE have been reported, the expert group met and deliberated at length today.'

'We discussed the socio-economic profile of the households which have reported the cases, their nutrition profiles, issues such as the ongoing heatwave, reported high percentage of hypoglycemia in the children who have died, the prevailing health infrastructure in the district and other factors that could significantly be considered in these cases,' added Vardhan.