KATHMANDU, Aug 2 (RSS): President Bidya Devi Bhandari has pointed out the need for improving the snakebite treatment system along with the launch of awareness programs and preventive measures. She said this at an international convention on snakebite organized by the Ministry of Health and Population, and Department of Internal Medicine of the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences at her residence, Shitalniwas, today.
Among various problems in monsoon, rise of snakebite cases was one in Nepal, she said, adding that it is severe in the Tarai/Madhes area of the country. She expressed happiness over the conduct of the international conference which would discuss the snakebite problem, measures to solve problems and the strategies for future safety. "Constraints of knowledge on venomous snakes, first aid and availability of anti-venom were resulting in untimely death of thousands of people. It is worrying indeed. Now, it must be ended," she stressed. She however appreciated the works carried out by the health workers to deliver quality health service despite limited facilities in the country.
The President also shared that numerous researches were conducted on snakebite in Nepal. The scientists in Nepal were also making efforts for the treatment, management and prevention of the snakebite. She further stated that it was laudable that Nepal Army was providing treatment to snakebite patients on its own resources. She also hailed the contribution of Professor Sanjeev Kumar Sharma with the research and treatment of snakebite in Nepal.
More than 40,000 people suffer from snakebite annually in Nepal and of them, more than 1,000 lost lives. Doctors working in snakebite treatment and policymakers from the SAARC member countries, from the UK, the US, Switzerland, and Germany have been participating in the two-day conference.
On the occasion, Chief Minister of State 2, Lalbabu Raut, pointed out the need for collective initiative from federal, States and local bodies to address the snakebite problems in Tarai/Madhes. He informed that the State had given priority to public awareness and treatment of snakebite. Similarly, Coordinator of the conference organizing committee, Professor at the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Sanjeev Sharma, said a policy on snakebite was imperative because it was complex public health sector. 'Specially Tarai/Madhes and hottest areas of hilly areas witness this problem. People from poor and backward communities are hit hard with this," he shared. There is no any action plan on preparedness to control snakebite problem. The gathering of World Health Organisation held last year had urged the countries facing snakebite problem to bring an action plan to stop death from snakebite and to make health service accessible to all, but the Ministry for Health and Population has not started any preparation for the action plan. It is believed that the conference would help make action plan for the treatment and prevention of snakebite.