HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Due to delay in purchase of Anti-Snake Venom Serum (ASVS) by the Logistic Management Division, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) was unable to distribute it for this year.
Lat Narayan Shah, zoonotic control officer at the EDCD said that the division is unable to send ASVS for this year as the Logistics Management Division (LMD) at the health ministry has not completed the procurement process yet.
Although we have submitted our demand of 40,000 vials on July 2011, we have not received any ASVS till date, added Shah.
According to Shah, LMD usually dispatches ASVS by February end, but this year it has already been delayed by two months. Although we have raised the issued at the review meeting of the ministry, it has not yet been addressed. EDCD is providing free treatment at 26 high-risk districts in Tarai and Inner Tarai. “EDCD could sustain till mid June from the stock vials of last year,” he said.
Every year, the government distributes ASVS in monsoon season as the number of snakebites across the country is highest during this period. ECDC is distributing ASVS in four assortments mainly during mid-April, mid-June, mid-July and mid-August.
According to EDCD, about 15 million are living in poisonous snakebite risk areas where species like Krait, Cobra and Viper are found in the country. The division said that the country recorded 309 deaths out of 86,066 cases from 2006 to 2010.
According to World Health Organisation, an estimated five million people are bitten each year. At least 100,000 deaths and around three times as many amputations and other permanent disabilities cases are recorded each year.
Survival of snakebite victims depends much on the first aid and immediate transportation to the nearest health centre where the facility to administer anti-snake venom and supportive care are available.
Ray of hope
Kathmandu: Dr Mingmar Gyelzen Sherpa, director of Logistic Management Division said that the procurement process of Anti-Snake Venom Serum will be finalised within this week. He, however, refused to comment further on this topic as there may be clash among the suppliers of the ASVS.