Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, upon his return from Muzaffarpur, has reviewed the situation arising from the reported cases of AES/JE in Bihar in a high level meeting today which was attended by senior officers of the Health Ministry, ICMR, and AIIMS. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MOS(HFW) was also present at the meeting.
The Union Health Minister has directed for another high level multi-disciplinary team to be sent to Bihar immediately. The team will undertake the necessary ground work for setting up state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research centre at Muzaffarpur. Dr. Harsh Vardhan during his review visit yesterday has assured the State about establishing such a Centre at Muzaffarpur.
“To establish the cause of the disease, there is urgent need for an inter disciplinary, high quality research team. The research team shall work with the children suffering from AES/JE looking at various aspects including periodicity, cycle of disease, environmental factors and metrological data, besides other factors”, Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated.
The inter disciplinary team consists of experts from ICMR, Delhi; NIMHANS, Bangalore; National Institute of Malaria Research; National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad; National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune; National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE) Chennai and AIIMS, Delhi.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan also said thatfive virological labs will be set up in different districts in the State. The location of the district can be decided in consultation with the State Government and can be funded through NHM, he stated.
In one of the decisions taken during his visit, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has instructed to set up a 100-bedded paediatric ICU at SKMCH by the State Government.Also, in the adjoining districts, 10 bedded paediatric ICUs will be set up with support from the Centre, so that such cases can be given better and exclusive treatment and there is no unnecessary load on the facilities available at SKMCH.