‘Biggest failure in 70 years’: PM Narendra Modi says Bihar Encephalitis outbreak matter of deep shame

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New Delhi | Updated: June 26, 2019 4:39:17 PM

The prime minister also expressed concern over the water crisis in the country and said that Ayushman Bharat needed to be strengthened.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday in response to the motion Of thanks on the President’s address. During his speech, the prime minister for the first time mentioned the Encephalitis deaths in Bihar calling it one of the biggest failure of the last 70 years.

PM Modi said that the deaths of children is a matter of deep shame for the country and gave assurance that the Centre is in touch with the state government and is providing all possible assistance.

“The deaths in Bihar due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome are unfortunate and a matter of shame for us. We have to take this seriously. I am in constant touch with the state Govt and I am sure we will collectively come out of this crisis soon,” Modi said.

Over 140 children have lost their lives due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar. The epidemic has sparked a row over lack of proper healthcare, awareness and growing inequality in the country. Experts are divided over the cause of the outbreak, while some are blaming it on litchis, others are linking it to malnutrition.

READ ALSO | PM Modi breaks silence on Jharkhand lynching in Rajya Sabha, says deeply pained by incident

The prime minister also expressed concern over the water crisis in the country and said that Ayushman Bharat needed to be strengthened.

While taking a jibe at the opposition parties for not joining the scheme, he asked the members of parliament to encourage people to join the scheme. Under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme medical treatment is provided to BPL families upto Rs 5 lakh every year.

“The need of the hour is to strengthen Ayushman Bharat. We want our poor to get the best quality and affordable medical treatment,” Modi added.

The Parliament is meeting for the eighth day today and it is expected that several bills including the Aadhar and other laws (Amendment) bill 2019 along with the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) bill 2019 will be taken up by the members in the 17th Lok Sabha.

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