Visakhapatnam

India tops in deaths due to snakebite

India has been recognised as having the highest snakebite mortality in the world. Most of the fatalities, are due to victims not reaching the hospital in time, and are preventable.

Of late poisonous snakes are creating a scare at various areas in the city like Simhachalam, Malkapuram and at Ukkunagaram.

Luckily, there are quite a few trained persons in the city, who are adept at catching snakes.

The tribal people living in the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam district are not that fortunate.

Quite a few of them are dying due to snake bites every year. The poor connectivity, distance from the tribal hamlets to the Primary Health Centres and shortage of ASV (anti snake venom) are said to be the reasons for deaths.

The National Snakebite Management Protocol 2009 was developed by the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Government of India in association the World Health Organisation to provide doctors and others with the best evidence-based approach to deal with snake bite in India.

It is said ASV is being administered when it was not required or in doses well in excess of the required amount. The rational use of ASV and the repeat doses results in early discharge from hospital.

“A vast majority of the snakes in India are non-poisonous. There are five poisonous snakes in India and shifting the victim to the nearest PHC or hospital immediately can save him/her,” says District Medical and Health Officer R. Ramesh.

“There are adequate stocks of ASV at all PHCs and government hospitals and there is no cause for alarm. The staff nurses are trained to administer the ASV,” says Dr. Ramesh.

B. Madhu Gopal

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 4:58:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/india-tops-in-deaths-due-to-snakebite/article19422630.ece

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