Shastry V. Mallady

MADURAI: An emergency medical intervention centre for poison management will soon be in place to treat snake bites, scorpion stings, and other kinds of poisoning.

The Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, with support from the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), will open Poison Management Centres in all districts to attend to cases and save lives with a quick standardised treatment protocol.

Director of Public Health P. Padmanaban told The Hindu here on Sunday that opening of exclusive centres for poison management was very important because people in the rural areas died of snake bites or by consuming poison in the absence of hospitals nearby to treat such cases. “This is an initiative of NRHM and we will train the doctors/staff of Primary Health Centres in handling poison cases.” According to Dr. Padmanaban, the plan is to have one such centre in every block of a district attached to the PHC. “These centres will be opened in a phased manner. There is a standard protocol for management of snake bite. Once we have designated centres to treat them immediately, death can be averted.” He said that quick intervention was essential as mortality would be high if the poison was not sucked out immediately.

The Director said steps were being taken on a war footing to convert the PHCs into centres of excellence and increasing maternal care/deliveries was a vital component in that mission.