New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a PIL seeking direction to the Centre to send a team of medical professionals to review and assist in preventing the outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.
AES has already claimed lives of nearly 128 children in the district. Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh was earlier the epicentre of the disease. A vacation bench of the apex court listed the matter for a hearing on Monday.
The plea filed by two advocates, Manohar Pratap and Sanpreet Singh Ajmani, contended that the state and Central governments should work in tandem to immediately arrange 500 ICU (intensive care units) with required medical professionals to deal with the situation.
The petition said that the critical situation had arrived due to lackadaisical approach of government authorities, as they had ignored children’s deaths every year.
“The children are losing their lives in scores due to unavailability of medicines, proper care and lack of intensive care units in hospitals of the area,” the petition said. Seeking the apex court’s intervention, the petition said that only it could save lives of thousands of children.
Referring to the recent strike by doctors, the plea said that it co-incidentally took place with the outbreak of the disease, thus affecting the care of patients admitted in government hospitals.
The plea cited media reports to inform the court that there was no availability of medical professionals and infrastructure to contain the epidemic.
As per reports, the Superintendent of Muzaffarpur’s S.K. Medical College, where most of the affected children were admitted, expressed his inability in ensuring them proper treatment due to lack of medical facilities, said the petition.
The petitioners contended that the state government must compensate the families of each of the dead with Rs 10 lakh.