Encephalitis in Bihar: Eight additional advanced life support ambulances deployed in affected districts, says Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said that eight additional Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances have been deployed to transport the patients in the districts affected with Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis (JE).

Vardhan also said that an ICMR team of experts has been deployed at SKMCH hospital in Muzaffarpur for making the virology lab operational at the earliest. He also said that a multi-disciplinary team deployed earlier is reviewing all the case records of AES patients, admitted and treated in 2019.

 Encephalitis in Bihar: Eight additional advanced life support ambulances deployed in affected districts, says Harsh Vardhan

File image of Harsh Vardhan. Twitter

A press release issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today stated, "In view of the situation arising due to the AES/JE cases in Muzaffarpur and other adjoining districts in Bihar, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has instructed for deployment of eight advanced life support ambulances (ALS) in the affected districts. Accordingly, eight additional advanced life support ambulances (ALS) have been pressed into service for transportation of critical patients under the National Health Mission (NHM)."

"The central teams of 10 paediatricians and five para-medics sent yesterday, have been deployed in the field and have started working in coordination with the state government," it said.

Vardhan further added that sixteen senior district officials and medical personnel have been sent to the vulnerable blocks for monitoring and early identification of cases and ensuring daily reporting. Their headquarters have also been shifted to these blocks also.

The Union Health Minister said, "The District Collector (DC) has now got involved and is personally taking responsibility. He has deputed the Senior Deputy Collectors (SDC)/District level officers to lead various block teams. These teams will be assisted by a district level Medical Officer and Medical Officer in charge (MOIC) to do the overall work at the block level."

He further said that the State has been given instructions to switch to daily surveillance and monitoring for detecting early warning signs of the disease. "The State government has started a social audit along with active case finding campaign through the house to house survey and moving the prospective patients to the nearest PHC for early intervention. Surprise checks are also being conducted at the PHCs by the Senior Deputy Collectors (SDC). "

"Additionally, the early morning inspection of Anganwadi Centres is also being undertaken by SDCs and Child Development Project Officers (CDPOs). They are also distributing of ORS to each house in the affected villages," he stated. The ANMs and ASHAs have been directed to visit every house for raising awareness about AES/JE by distributing pamphlets and brochures. Awareness is also being created through other measures such as miking and inter-personal communication," the release said.

The Union Health Minister further stated that the multi-disciplinary team deployed earlier is reviewing all the case records of AES patients, admitted and treated in 2019.

"The team is reviewing the case records of discharged and deceased AES patients at SKMCH using a standardized tool to know the reasons for mortality. We expect to complete the activity in the next two to three days. A similar exercise will be undertaken in the Kejriwal Hospital," Vardhan said.

Updated Date: Jun 20, 2019 23:14:09 IST