In a slight reprieve to the Bihar health crisis, the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC), has taken note of the deplorable health infrastructure in the country and issued notice regarding the state of government hospitals to the Union Health Ministry and all state governments and Union territories' governments too, according to ANI.
It has also asked the governments to send a report within six weeks on the deaths occurred due to lack of healthcare in the past 3 years.
Apart from the above directions, the commission has also sent medical teams to vulnerable states - Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana to conduct a fact-finding investigation.
This move has occurred after a relentless investigation into the Acute Encephalitis (AES)epidemic currently plaguing Bihar. It is also seen as a direct impact of the people's campaign in Bihar fighting the authorities' carelessness in tackling the disease which has already claimed the lives of 133 children in the state. Republic TV has been tracking the Nitish Kumar-led government's steps taken to tackle the epidemic in the state.
Earlier in the day, in a shocking development, the gates of the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital was shut from the morning of June 20 and patients were not allowed inside the hospital. This was done to provide VVIP treatment to LJD leader Sharad Yadav who came to visit the patients in the hospital by unsealing the gate for him and then sealing it again.
There have been many such instances where Bihar ministers have acted rashly while tackling the situation. The administration under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is blaming the outbreak of AES on excessive heat and humidity, hypoglycemia, eating litchis on an empty stomach. However, despite the disease affecting the state every year, the questions as to why the state or Centre failed to combat this illness remains unanswered.
WATCH | 'Had Recommended Setting Up Pediatric ICU And Conducting Encephalitis Research In Muzaffarpur In 2014, Wasn't Implemented After I Left,' Says Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Amid Bihar Crisis
Earlier on Wednesday, the Union Health Minister Dr. Harshvardhan had admitted that the suggestions he had given in 2014 to improve the health infrastructure in Bihar had not been implemented adding that he had again suggested in his recent visit to Muzaffarpur, the establishment of a separate research center to ascertain the cause.
In similar lines to the Bihar government, he too said that the exact cause of the disease is unknown and needs research.
"The causes of this disease is still unknown. There are multiple causes - bacterial, viral. It is important that along with treatment, research should also be done so that this disease can be controlled permanently," he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, investigating the major medical disaster currently plaguing Bihar, where Acute Encephalitis Syndrome(AES) has currently claimed the lives of 140 children in Bihar, Republic TV, on Tuesday, has accessed excerpts of a 2014 report prepared by the Bihar government of the pledge promised by the Centre and state government to fight Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).