Audit report on AES deaths puts Bihar govt in dock -Arun Kumar
An audit report by the accountant general has blamed lack of health policy to poor management of various government schemes for food, nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, health, education and overall welfare for AES deaths in Bihar.
Bihar does not have a health policy and its budget also does not focus on any specific area of attention in health sector despite the scourge of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) for over a decade, which, per official records, claimed 155 lives as this year.
The observation is part of findings of an audit report of the accountant general submitted to the Bihar government recently in the aftermath of AES catastrophe. The report blames lack of health policy to poor management of various government schemes for food, nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, health, education and overall welfare.
The report also highlights that Bihar, the second worst performing state in the country in the 2nd edition of the health index analysis by Niti Ayog, had witnessed decreasing trend during 2014-19 in terms of proposals by the health department, approval by the Central and actual expenditure, even as preventive, case management and rehabilitation system did not strengthen over the same period.
The report quotes superintendent of SKMCH in Muzaffarpur as saying that malnutrition in children, hot and humid conditions and low baseline sugar level were the responsible factors for the causalities due to AES.
The report also blames the poor fund management, saying it remained parked at the state level and could not reach the targeted groups in areas like AES-affected Muzaffarpur blocks for timely measures and early symptomatic treatment.
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