Mid Day Meal Menace in Bihar: The Public Health Concerns of the Tragedy

Janmejaya Samal


Discussions regarding the “Mid Day Meal” programme have many times been an issue of public health professionals in many different ways. Most frequently it is related to the issues of policy, implementation and impact of the same in different communities but discussions in the name of MDM tragedy or disaster may not be much. The issue in Bihar is really distressing in many different ways. It is an issue of great socio-political and public health concern which requires attention from either one of them. Death of 23 children after a Mid Day Meal contaminated with pesticide in Gandaman-Dharmasati Primary school of Chhapra District of Bihar is of great concern. This is a case of point source or common source epidemic as per the classical epidemiological terminology with high case fatality ratio (51.11, n=100) and high attack rate (45, n=100). Institution of proper food and nutritional surveillance system and strengthening the primary health system is of paramount importance in handling situations like this. In this article an attempt has been made to discuss the public health concerns and the associated socio-political issue on the basis of data obtained from the published news articles of various national dailies.


Bihar; Menace; Mid Day Meal; Tragedy

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