Bihar's child victims of poverty

Print edition : July 19, 2019

At the paediatric ward of the Shri Krishna Medical College Hospital, Muzaffarpur, on June 19. The SKMCH handled the bulk of the acute encaphalopathy cases. Photo: AFP

The parents and siblings of Dinanath Mahto, who died of the disease on June 13, at their house in Rautaniya village of Muzaffarpur district on June 25. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

Dr Arun Shah, a paediatrician based in Muzaffarpur. He co-authored a study linking AES deaths to toxins present in litchi. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

Dr S.K. Shahi, Director of Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital, Muzaffarpur. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

A litchi orchard in Manikpur village of Muzaffarpur district. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

Acute encephalopathy strikes the poorest families in Muzaffarpur and some other districts in Bihar. For a disease that has shown a predictable pattern, the government’s health care machinery appears unprepared to handle an outbreak.

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