Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan speaking to media persons on Sunday in Muzaffarpur. Photo/ANI
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan speaking to media persons on Sunday in Muzaffarpur. Photo/ANI

Will set up state-of-the-art research centre for encephalitis in Muzaffarpur: Dr Harsh Vardhan

ANI | Updated: Jun 16, 2019 19:37 IST

Muzaffarpur (Bihar) [India], June 16 (ANI): Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said the Centre would set up a state-of-the-art research centre here within a year to deal with the menace of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES).
Referring to different theories doing rounds about the spread of AES, which has claimed 84 lives so far, Dr Vardhan said: "There is a need of a state-of-the-art research centre to tackle this challenge in Muzaffarpur which will work in collaboration with the ICMR and the WHO."
He said that the children who got admitted here have low blood sugar and sodium levels, and there is an electrolytic imbalance in their systems.
"In 2014, the Union Health Ministry discussed the reasons for this medical condition. There are questions as to whether this is because of toxic reasons due to litchi consumption," he said.
"Some doctors were of the opinion that heat and humidity may be the reason behind this. These reasons call for a state-of-the-art research centre," he added.
"When we got to know that this issue is Japanese encephalitis, we included this disease in the Universal Immunisation Programme. The Central government will help in the creation of a pediatric ICU. An exclusive pediatric ICU is the need of the hour. We will ensure that it is built by next June," he said.
The minister also said that a virology lab will be built in Muzaffarpur. "Recently, a virology laboratory has been created at AIIMS, Patna. We propose such labs at four to five places around Bihar including one in Muzaffarpur," he said.
Earlier Dr Vardhan chaired a meeting with MoS for Health Ashwani Kumar Choubey and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey here. Doctors of Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) were also present in the meeting.
Dr Vardhan also met the patients and their families. He also reviewed public health measures for the containment and management of AES.
Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the children, who died due to AES in Muzaffarpur.
AES is a viral disease, which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions, and headaches and has been claiming lives in the district for the past few weeks. (ANI)