NEPALGUNJ, Sep 6: Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality-8 in the eastern part of Banke district has launched a snakebite treatment center on Tuesday for the first time. Before this, victims of snakebite had no choice but to rush at Nepalgunj-based Bheri Zonal Hospital and the Ranjha barracks of the Nepal Army. The treatment center was built with a total investment of Rs. 2.3 million. Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality contributed Rs 2 million for building construction while locals and other provided Rs 900,000 in cash and free labor.
According to Khum Bahadur Basnet, chairman of ward 8 and also the chair of the center's management committee, a separate bank account has been opened for collecting funds to purchase medicines and necessary equipment for the treatment center.“A total of Rs 2.5 million has been collected in the fund. As many as 172 individuals have donated Rs 1.46 million while 40 firms and organizations donated Rs 668, 735,” informed Basnet. Inaugurating the building, chief guest Lahuram Tharu, the chairperson of Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality, said all possible treatment will be made available to the patients at the center.
“Many people died of snakebites in the past in lack of timely medical intervention. I believe the center can save many lives,” he said. Tharu also said that the rural municipality will always provide help in terms of physical infrastructure or finance to the treatment center. “We are ready to provide all necessary support to the center,” added Tharu. Nepal Army's Shree Mehar Battalion has provided five qualified health workers to the treatment center. The battalion will treat the snakebite patients at the center with technical support from the Bheri Zonal Hospital said Basu Dev Dhimal, lieutenant colonel of Nepal Army.
Snakebite victims from Khashkushma, Kachnapur, Baijapur, Binauna, and Mahadevpuri among other areas from Sonari Rural Municipality will benefit from the center, informed Dhimal. He said they decided to set up the snakebite treatment center when they saw snake menace during last year's flooding in the Raptisonari area.