Bihar govt to SC: managing with 43% doctors, 29% nurses

The Nitish Kumar government, in an affidavit, submitted that out of 824 cases of AES in the state, a total of 157 deaths were reported. (Reuters File Photo)

The Bihar government has told the Supreme Court that it has been taken all positive steps to bring down the fatality of children due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) to 19%, despite the availability of just 43% of doctors and 29% of nurses against the total sanctioned strength.

The Nitish Kumar government, in an affidavit, submitted that out of 824 cases of AES in the state, a total of 157 deaths were reported. However,  the fatality rate has come down to 19%, against the global rate of 30% with regard to the AES.

Notably, the detailed 23-page affidavit by the state government was filed in response to the apex court's notice in a PIL seeking emergent steps to prevent the death of children. It said against a sanctioned strength of 12,206, there were just 5205 doctors in the state. The number of nurses was also very low. Against the sanctioned post of 19,155, there were just 5634 nurses.

Listing out various steps taken, like providing nutrition to the children, the state government said that the CM himself was monitoring the situation, while the change in the weather conditions has resulted in a substantial reduction in reported cases of AES and Japanese encephalitis.

The court has sought to know the steps taken to prevent the death of children due to an outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES), saying this raised questions on availability of adequate medicines as well as policy on public health cares.

The petition by advocate Manohar Pratap pointed out there was no availability of doctors, beds, intensive care units, medical professionals to deal with an epidemic level situation, which resulted in the death of children in the state of Bihar particularly in Muzaffarpur and its adjoining areas.

Comments (+)