Bihar begins door-to-door survey to detect AES early
For monitoring, early identification and daily reporting, sixteen senior district officials and medical personnel have been sent to vulnerable blocks in the affected districts.Updated: Jun 21, 2019, 07:48 IST
Bihar health workers have begun a daily door-to-door campaign to actively detect cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) for early referral and treatment on directions from the Union health ministry.
At least 136 children have died of AES in Bihar hospitals since June 5. The epicentre of the outbreak is Muzaffarpur, where nearly 85 children have died. Deaths have also been reported from Bhagalpur, Banka, Sitamarhi, West Champaran and Samastipur districts.
“The active case-finding campaign in the affected districts will help in identifying the disease at an early stage when proper management can save the children. People with symptoms will be referred to primary health centres, where initial management and support will be provided before referring patients to higher centres, if needed. Our efforts will be to ensure local protocols are established and followed, including a monitoring system to keep a check,” said Manoj Jhalani, mission director, National Health Mission.
For monitoring, early identification and daily reporting, sixteen senior district officials and medical personnel have been sent to vulnerable blocks in the affected districts. A team of 10 paediatricians and five para-medics were sent to Bihar on Wednesday to work in coordination with the state government.
A team of experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research is in the process of setting up a virology lab at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur. The experts will review case records and the clinical, nutritional and epidemiological information of all AES patients treated at SKMCH since May 18.
“The team is reviewing the case records of discharged and deceased AES patients at SKMCH using a standardised tool to know the reasons for mortality. We expect to complete the activity in two to three days. A similar exercise will be undertaken at Kejriwal Hospital,” said Union health minister Harsh Vardhan.
Blood, urine and samples of cerebro-spinal fluid will be collected from these patients to zero in on the origin of the infection. The team will also conduct a study to understand the role of missing meals and consumption of unripe lychee using control households. Bihar principal secretary, health, Sanjay Kumar said, “... we have taken action and redeployed at least nine senior residents from different medical colleges to SKMCH... we will consider conducting short-term refresher courses on standard operating procedures for AES from next year.”