PIL in SC seeks steps to check outbreak of AES

A plea was filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking direction to the Centre to dispatch a team of medical professionals to review and assist in preventing the outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

The syndrome has already claimed lives of nearly 128 children. Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh was earlier the epicentre of the disease.

The plea filed by two advocates, Manohar Pratap and Sanpreet Singh Ajmani, contended 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 stituation has arrived due to lackadaisical approach of the government authorities, as they have been ignoring children's death every year, the petition said.

"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 intervention, the petition said it can save lives of thousands of children.

Refering to the recent strike by doctors, the plea said the strike has co-incidentally occured with the outbreak of the diseases, and as a consequence, it has technically affected the care of the patients admitted in government hospitals.

The plea cited media reports that there is no availability of medical professionals and infrastructure to contain the epidemic.

As per reports, the Superintendent of S.K. Medical College, Muzaffarpur, where most of the affected children are under treatment, expressed inability in ensuring proper treatment due to lack of medical facilities, said the petition.

The petitioners contended the state government must grant compensate to the families of the deceased, who died due medical negligence, with Rs 10 lakh.