PATNA: Finally, after 12 days of refusal, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Panday admitted the deaths of children between January and June 14, were caused by the symptoms akin to the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, on Friday.
Panday, who visited the SKMCH in Muzaffarpur along with health officials, on Friday said, "Altogether 57 children including 47 at government-run SKMCH and 10 at the privately- run Kejariwal hospital, had died diagnosed with symptoms akin to AES".
He further said that a new ward of 100-bed capacity was created at SKMCH to admit the children coming with symptoms of AES or hypoglycemia.
"Besides this, six new additional ambulances have been deputed here at SKMCH with nearly two dozens including 7 additional doctors from AIIMS", he said, adding that 15 junior doctors were also assigned with the task of assisting the doctors for better treatment", he said.
Meanwhile, parents of many children, who are undergoing treatment at SKMCH, rued the fates and said only rain-god can save their children.
"Doctors are doing their best to save the children, who are brought here with symptoms akin to AES but we pine hope on rain-god only to come and save the children", Mahindra Kumar, a father of a child admitted said.
On Thursday, a high-level central govt team of seven experts and doctors roped in from different health departments, had visited Muzaffarpur and discussed with local health officials. The team had suggested increasing the capacity of SKMCH's paediatric ward from 17 to 100 and deployment of additional doctors till the arrival of monsoon.