Centre deploys eight advanced lifesupport ambulances now
New Delhi: In view of the rising incidents of deaths due to AES/JE in Muzaffarpur and adjoining areas in Bihar, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has issued instructions for deployment of eight advanced life-support (ALS) ambulances in the affected districts.Accordingly, eight additional ALS ambulances were pressed into service for transportation of critical patients under the National Health Mission (NHM), a statement issued by the health ministry said. The central teams comprising 10 pediatricians and five paramedics each had started working on the ground, in coordination with the state government, it added. The teams were sent to Bihar on Wednesday. Vardhan further informed that 16 senior district officials and medical personnel were sent to the vulnerable blocks for monitoring and early identification of cases and ensuring daily reporting. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in HaryanaTheir headquarters were also shifted to these blocks, he said, adding that the district collector was involved in the process now and was personally taking responsibility for the same. The collector had deputed senior deputy collectors (SDCs) or district-level officers to lead various block teams, Vardhan was quoted in the statement as saying. These teams would be assisted by a district-level medical officer and a medical officer in-charge (MOIC) to do the overall work at the block level, the statement said. It added that the authorities in Bihar were 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 an active case-finding campaign through a house-to-house survey, and is moving the prospective patients to the nearest PHC for early intervention. Surprise checks are also being conducted at the PHCs by SDCs. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah”Additionally, the early morning inspection of anganwadi centres is also being undertaken by SDCs and child development project officers (CDPOs). They are also giving ORS to each house in the affected villages,” the statement said. The auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) and accredited social health activists (ASHAs) were directed to visit every house to raise awareness on Acute Encephalitis Syndrome/Japanese Encephalitis (AES/JE) by distributing pamphlets and brochures, it said, adding that awareness was also being created through other measures such as announcements through microphones and inter-personal communication. Also, a team of experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) was deployed at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur for making the virology laboratory operational at the earliest, Vardhan was quoted as saying in the statement. He added that the multi-disciplinary team deployed earlier was reviewing all the case records of the AES patients admitted to the hospital in 2019. Expressing serious concern over the “deplorable public health infrastructure” in the country, the NHRC Thursday issued notices to the Centre and all states and Union Territories, underlining loss of lives in various parts of the country in recent times, including of over 100 children in Muzaffarpur. The National Human Rights Commission has also directed that teams comprising doctors on the panel of the NHRC, along with its officers, will visit hospitals, primary health centres and other health facilities in “vulnerable” states one by one, starting with Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab to conduct on-the-spot fact-finding investigation, officials said.