Encephalitis threat: Panic-stricken people migrate from villages in Bihar

Some families have lost their children; others don't want to take a chance. They are migrating from villages and are going to their relatives' place at safer locations

Chandrakant Mishra

Chandrakant Mishra   18 Jun 2019 2:14 PM GMT

"People are so scared that they have taken their children and are gone. More than half of those living in my village have migrated. There are no children in my village now," said Sunil Sahani, 28, who lives in Haribanshpur village in Bihar.

Around 10 children have died due to suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in this village, which is in Vaishali district, 40 kms from Patna. Many children from this village are admitted in different hospitals.

More than 100 children have died due to suspected Encephalitis in Bihar so far and more than 400 are admitted in different private and government hospitals in Muzaffarpur. 36 cases of AES were reported from Motihari on Tuesday and four children allegedly died in Begusarai.

In such a scenario, people living in villages are panic-stricken. They are migrating from villages and are going to their relatives' place at safer locations.

'These kids could have been saved'

Thirty-eight-year old Chaturi, who also lives in Haribanshpur village, lost her two children because of suspected Encephalitis.

"My children died due to doctor's negligence. He could not diagnose what they were suffering from. Had they got treatment in time they could have survived," she said.

Rajesh Sahani lost his seven-year old daughter. "On June 9 she was sleeping with her grand-mother. She fell sick at night. She couldn't talk. I took her to a hospital nearby. They sent her to Kejriwal hospital in Muzaffarpur. There they told me that an expert doctor at Patna would be able to treat her. We took her to Patna, but she could not survive," he said.

He added, "I have three kids. One has died. I have sent the other two kids away from this village. I buried my daughter at my in-law's village. I was scared that if I get her body here, other two might fall sick too."

Not just in Vaishali district, panic-stricken people are leaving homes in many districts and going away to their relatives' place at safer locations.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday visited the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur. Sushil Kumar Modi, deputy chief minister of Bihar, accompanied the chief minister, who faced protests from angry relatives.

Protestors, who were upset that the chief minister was visiting the hospital two weeks after the outbreak Acute Encephalitis Syndrome, raised "Nitish go back" slogans.

The chief minister met with parents of children who were admitted in the ICU. He also held a review meeting with doctors at the hospital.

Most of children are admitted in Muzaffarpur's Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) and Kejriwal hospital. While 89 children have died in SKMCH hospital, 19 people have died in Kejriwal hospital.

(Chandrakant Mishra and Abhay Raj reporting from Vaishali)

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