Matter of Great Shame, PM Modi Says in First Address Over Bihar Encephalitis Deaths
Calling it an unfortunate situation, the Prime Minister said in the Rajya Sabha that the Centre and state would work together to emerge out of the present crisis.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
New Delhi: Addressing for the first time the issue of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) that has claimed lives of over 100 children in north Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was a matter of great shame.
In his first speech in the Rajya Sabha after returning to power at the Centre, Modi said that while the situation, of seasonal medical crisis, was better in parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, "what has been happening in Bihar is a matter of great shame for us."
Calling it an unfortunate situation, the PM said that the Centre and state would work together to emerge out of the present crisis.
"I hope that we work on the issue of nutrition and vaccination. I hope that the affected get benefits of the Ayushmaan Bharat scheme," Modi said, adding that such a crisis could break out in any state and hence, all the states and Centre needed to work together.
Locally known as ‘chamki fever’ for the convulsions it triggers in its victims, AES usually occurs in and around June. This year, it has affected 222 blocks in 12 districts, especially in Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sheohar and East Champaran.
Many have blamed the local administration for not doing enough to carry out preventive drives and inspections which is what the state has been doing every year.
Many of the officials remaining busy with election duties is said to be a key reason behind the alleged dereliction of these preventive exercises this year. A recent survey of patients affected by AES showed that a majority of them, almost three-fourths, came from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.
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