NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Bihar government and Centre seeking explanation on death of more than 120 children in Muzaffarpur due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).
A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai directed the Bihar government to file an affidavit within seven days on the adequacy of medical facilities, nutrition and sanitation and the hygiene conditions in the state.
The SC’s direction came on a plea, filed by advocates Manohar Pratap and Sanpreet Singh Ajmani, seeking a direction to urgently constitute a team of medical experts for treatment of children suffering from Encephalitis.
The Bihar government assured the SC that it is taking all necessary steps to control the outbreak of AES in Muzaffarpur and claimed that the situation is now absolutely under control.
The matter has been posted for hearing after 10 days.
Over 140 children have lost their lives due to AES outbreak in the state since June 1, majority of whom died in Muzaffarpur district alone, state health department sources said.
The AES outbreak, which according to the state health department has affected about 20 out of the 40 districts in the state, has afflicted more than 600 children since June 1, killing over 120.
The high number of deaths this year has been mostly attributed to hypoglycemia or a steep drop in blood sugar level which has been blamed on malnutrition coupled with poor children’s propensity to consume unripe litichis, plucking these from orchards or picking up the ones fallen on the ground.
In Video:Encephalitis deaths in Bihar: SC pulls up Centre, Nitish govt; tells them to file responses within 7 days