Snake bite sets alarm

KATHMANDU: As soon as the cases of snake bite are showing up nationwide, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) under Department of Health Service (DoHS) has started distributing Anti-Snake Venom Serum (ASVS) for this year.

Lat Narayan Shah, Assistant Zoonotic Officer at the EDCD, said that they are sending first assortment of the ASVS on Thursday and the other assortments in mid June and mid August. They are distributing around twenty-two thousand doses of the ASVS this year, it was around seventeen thousand doses of the ASVS in the previous year, Shah informed. He further added that during the heavy flood they need more ASVS as the snake bite cases increase in the rainy season.

He informed that there are 26 vulnerable districts of snake bite which include 20 from Tarai region and six from middle hill region where there is tropical climate.

Shah shared that there are around 800 to 1,000 cases of snake bites registered annually, among them ten per cent are by poisonous snakes. Only ten per cent people among the poisonous cases die.The EDCD had opened five regional medical stores for the emergency supply of the medicine to different districts. He further informed that they only distributed ASVS to district and regional hospital and some specific primary health care centres on the basis of their performances.

He argued that snakebite is a medical emergency and the survival of the victims depends much on the appropriate first aid measures and immediate transportation of the victims to the nearest health centre where the anti-snake venom and supportive care facilities are available. He suggested that the patients should not be taken to Dhamis and people should know the places where there is availability of the ASVS.

He asked the people to be aware of the snake bite especially at the vulnerable districts and appealed people for the immediate treatment.

Dr. Devi Prasad Bhusal, a senior Doctor at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Hospital, said that they registered around 30 cases in a month and they are providing free medical services to the victims. He brought it to notice that more than 95 per cent of the registered cases of snake bites are by non-poisonous snakes but asked people to be alert during the time of harvesting.