PATNA: At a time when Bihar along with the rest of the country is in the grip of Covid-19 pandemic, there is some good news: the toll in the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) – the dreaded disease that kills scores of children each year – is only 12 up to June 30 as against 164 deaths in the same period last year in the worst-hit Muzaffarpur district.
“This has been possible due to elaborate preparations and public awareness launched by the state government this year,” said Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday. Only 95 children were admitted till June 30 this year compared to 653 children admitted in 2019, both at government-run SKMCH and private-run Kejariwal hospital, he said.
Modi said the AES has been controlled to a considerable extent this year. The country’s first 100-bed paediatric intensive care unit, built at the cost of Rs 72 crore with a 60-bed special encephalitis ward, has been constructed in Muzaffarpur-based SKMCH in record time, he said.
“Around 406 ambulances have been deployed in 11 AES-hit areas of north Bihar districts so that affected children can be transported free-of-cost to hospitals without delay,” he said. Officials have adopted over 350 panchayats to create awareness about AES, he said.