CPIML Bihar State Secretary Kunal said that the encephalitis fever has once again started to create havoc in the State, but it seems that the government has learnt no lessons from the painful deaths of more than 500 children last year and remains as callous as ever this year also. So far 5 children have died this year in Muzaffarpur and if immediate measures are not taken there will be a repetition of last year’s horrific crisis.
He said that after concerted protests there is news that a 60-bed hospital has been built in Muzaffarpur but no child specialist has been appointed there so far. Instead, the government wants to send doctors from here and there to the hospital, but that will not solve the problem. Children are dying, but the hospital has not yet started functioning; what is this if not sheer negligence? The first duty of the government is to make arrangement for child specialists at the hospital.
Poverty is said to be a major cause for encephalitis, but now special poverty alleviation project has been prepared for the affected areas. No special arrangements have been made in the State and District Hospitals. The appalling lack of government arrangements seem to indicate that this year also children will die in large numbers. There has been talk of research, but there is no report of any progress in this direction.
CPIML has demanded from the Nitish government to: increase the number of ICUs in Muzaffarpur and all other District hospitals without delay; increase the number of beds, and provide basic facilities to fight encephalitis at all centers from Block level hospitals to Primary Health Centers; pay special attention to hygiene and sanitation in the Tolas of the poor; guarantee nutritious food for children in affected areas; ensure that essential medicines reach everywhere including all villages; ensure arrangements for clean water at all places.