Heat, lack of nutrition, awareness add to AES, Bihar kids toll over 100 -Santosh Singh

-The Indian Express

On Monday, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sent notices to the central and state governments over reports of increasing AES-linked deaths of children in Muzaffarpur, and sought a report within four weeks.

Muzaffarpur, Patna:
FROM THE intense summer heat this year to lack of nutrition programmes, effective awareness campaigns and a full-fledged local health facility.

According to medical experts and officials, these are the key reasons behind a spurt in cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in north Bihar — from seven deaths in 2018 to 103 so far this year, most of them children below 10 years of age.

On Monday, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sent notices to the central and state governments over reports of increasing AES-linked deaths of children in Muzaffarpur, and sought a report within four weeks.

On Sunday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visited the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur, from where 85 deaths were reported. Officials said 18 deaths were reported from Kejriwal Matrisadan, a trust-run hospital in Muzaffarpur.

Of the 440 AES-linked hospital admissions so far this summer, 154 patients are under treatment. Most of them hail from low-income families of Muzaffarpur, East Champaran, Vaishali, Sitamarhi and Samastipur. Since the massive outbreak of 2014 that led to 355 deaths in the region, official AES figures show 11 deaths in 2015, four in 2016 and 11 in 2017.

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The Indian Express, 18 June, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/heat-lack-of-nutrition-awareness-add-to-aes-bihar-kids-toll-over-100-5785552/

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