PATNA: Sir Thomas Rutherford, Governor of Bihar, addressing the Tirhut Journalists Association on the conclusion of his tour of the cholera-affected area in North Bihar said that the latest census disclosed deaths in the Tirhut Division due to cholera to be 68,000 from January to July 1944. Deaths due to fever, which may also be largely on account of malaria, were 1,28,000.

The Governor said that in Tirhut Division the number of deaths exceeded the number of births, which was disturbing. From January 1 to July 31, 1944, the number of births was only 1,45,000 while deaths from all causes numbered 2,15,000.

Sir Thomas considered the epidemic situation disturbing, but not as a section of the Press tried to convey. He added that the headlines given by the Press suggested to the people outside Bihar that Tirhut was stricken with pestilence like Bengal, which was not the case.

... The Governor regretted that doctors were not available in sufficient numbers to cope with the malaria epidemic and the distribution of mepacrine had to be done through village headmen. The Governor stated that he was trying to get more doctors from the army, and more malaria centres would be opened soon. — Dawn Delhi

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2019