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Doorstep pledge for mystery fever

Residents can dial 1099 to receive preliminary treatment at their doorstep for children showing symptoms of acute encephalitis syndrome.

Vexed over the death of children because of delay in admission and treatment, the health department has put 10 mobile medical units into action since Sunday.

District magistrate Anupam Kumar said: “The condition of children who were admitted late to the hospital deteriorated because of delay in treatment at SKMCH and Kejriwal Maternity Clinic. Therefore, 10 mobile medical units have been pressed into action since Sunday.”

Apart from reaching the houses of the affected children and providing necessary treatment in an hour, the units will also take patients to the Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) and the Kejriwal Maternity Clinic.

“The medical units are equipped with paediatricians to facilitate medical aid to the affected children. These have all the facilities required to treat encephalitis patients,” Anupam said.

The district administration has finalised the route chart for the vehicles and informed the doctors of the primary health centres (PHC) and additional PHCs, block officials and the child development project officers (CDPOs).

“The message regarding the service of the mobile medical units is being spread in rural areas to make people aware of the facility. Once a call is made to 1099, the authorities will take down the details and pass the information to doctors of PHCs, CDPOs and accredited social health activists (Asha). Thereafter, mobile units will reach the spot to treat the affected children and admit them to hospital,” Anupam said.

Members of anganwadi sevikas and accredited social health activists (Asha) are already visiting the villages to spot ailing children. They are equipped with sachets of oral re-hydration salt (ORS).

The district magistrate said the affected blocks — Minapur, Mushahri, Bochahan and Kanti — have been given priority while finalising the route chart.

“A ward is being set up at the SKMCH to treat encephalitis patients. There will be at least 25 additional beds in the intensive care unit (paediatrics) to accommodate children at the hospital from East Champaran, Sitamarhi and Samastipur. At present, there are 35 children at the SKMCH from the adjoining districts,” Anupam said.

Senior toxicologist of Centre for Disease Control, Atlanta, US, John D. Thomas, arrived in the district on Saturday to help James Xavier, the encephalitis expert who has been camping here for the past 10 days.