Snakebite deaths: Odisha Govt alerts hospitals to be in readiness

The health staff will also work in coordination with local snake helpline members to identify local poisonous snakes and spread awareness regarding the same.
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

BHUBANESWAR: With Odisha witnessing a spurt in snakebite cases and related deaths, the state government on Tuesday issued an advisory asking all chief district medical officers (CDMOs) and public health officers (PHOs) to ensure adequate measures including adequate stock of anti-snake venom (ASV) at district headquarters hospitals (DHHs) and other tertiary healthcare facilities.

Issuing a circular to this effect, the directorate of public health asked the CDMOs, PHOs and other health officials to adhere to the Centre’s standard treatment guidelines-2017 to treat patients with poisonous snake bites.

“All drugs including ASVs, hydrocortisone, adrenaline injection, neostigmine, and atropine should be kept ready at easy-to-get places in hospitals, preferably the casualty. The ASVs must be kept adequately in the DHHs, sub-divisional hospitals (SDHs), community health centres (CHCs) and primary health centres (PHCs), and use them rationally as per protocol,” the public health directorate stated.  

It ordered the health officials to provide required tests and drugs to snakebite victims free of cost. The directorate also instructed the grassroots health units to ensure timely referral of patients to higher facilities, if felt necessary during the time of treatment.

As per the advisory, a sensitisation drive will be carried out for the field staff of the Health Department at the grassroots highlighting the importance of first-aid and early hospitalisation of snakebite victims. Awareness drives will be carried out to sensitise people on the importance of medical treatment and discourage them from availing local treatment through untrained and traditional healers, quacks and ‘gunias’.

The government has also planned to mobilise Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) teams to schools to educate teachers and students regarding the cleanliness of the school premises and first-aid management. The health staff will also work in coordination with local snake helpline members to identify local poisonous snakes and spread awareness regarding the same.

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