BJP leader CP Thakur questions Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over Acute Encephalitis Syndrome deaths

Dr CP Thakur, who is also a physician, said that Bihar government gets active only at the time of AES outbreak.

BJP leader CP Thakur questions Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over Acute Encephalitis Syndrome deaths
Image credits: IANS

Senior BJP leader Dr CP Thakur on Monday raised questions over Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the state government over the death of 126 children due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

Thakur, who is also a physician, said that Bihar government gets active only at the time of outbreak and no action is taken beforehand to prevent the outbreak of the deadly disease.

The BJP MP stressed that Bihar government should take the outbreak of AES seriously and focus on research in order to prevent people from getting affected from such diseases in future. Dr Thakur called for a high-level investigation to find out if the recent outbreak of AES had happened due to consumption of Litchis.

"Government should take this seriously and focus on research so that such diseases don't affect people in future. He states that a high level investigation should be done if it happened due to consumption of Litchis," he said in a press release.

A total of 104 children have died due to AES in Muzaffarpur, while 12 children died due to the viral infection in Vaishali. Two children lost their lives due to AES in Motihari and Patna while five kids succumbed to the infection in Samastipur. 

In a related development, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday issued a notice to Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar and Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, seeking a detailed report in deaths due to AES in the state.

The NHRC has also sought a report from Bihar government providing details about the status of implementation of National Programme for Prevention and Control of Japanese Encephalitis Virus/ Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (NPPCJA) and other steps taken to deal with the situation. It is expected that the Bihar government would submit the report within four weeks.

On Sunday, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan visited Bihar to take stock of the situation and hold discussions with authorities to the check the spread of the AES. Dr Harsh Vardhan met Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey during his visit to Patna. The Union Minister also held discussions with doctors of Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur.

Encephalitis, called 'Chamki' fever in Hindi, is a viral disease, which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions and headaches and has been claiming lives in the district for the past few weeks.