The chief minister of Bihar, Jitan Ram Manjhi said: “whatever be the ground reality, health department shows Bihar as being on top in immunisation.” This was during a programme organised by the State Health Society in Bihar in collaboration with Unicef, WHO and some NGOs last month to spread awareness about the pentavalent vaccine (to be launched this month), Before the chief minister’s speech, health officials, including health secretary Anand Kishore, claimed routine immunisation rose from 15 per cent in 2005 to 70 per cent and lauded ground health workers.The state immunisation officer N.K. Sinha in an effort to correct the statement said that “the chief minister must have misunderstood that the state health department is claiming an increase in immunisation. “We are stating figures mentioned in Annual Health Survey, 2012, conducted by the Union government”.
If the first error wasn’t enough, Manjhi advocated for traditional method of treatment. He gave the example of his daughter who used to regularly suffer from pneumonia. He said: “My mother mixed pig fat in egg yolk and gave it to her. She was cured within days. The pentavalent vaccine might be effective but it would be better for people to use the traditional method of treatment too. In ancient times, when there were no vaccines, people banked on traditional method of treatment. Why can’t people opt for traditional methods these days?”