Russell's viper scourge spreads in Nawalparashi

Published On: August 19, 2016 02:15 AM NPT By: Kalpana Bhattarai

NAWALPARASHI, Aug 19: A few days ago, Mahebunu Nesha, 36, of Kudia VDC-3 in Nawalparashi district, who had gone to the field to collect fodder, came home with her right leg swollen. Her family members rushed her to the snake bite treatment facility run by Bajradal Battalion of Nepal Army immediately.

Nesha showed symptoms quite different than those seen on other snake bite victims. The center immediately referred her to Chitwan District Hospital, as the health workers serving at the army-run facility suspected that she might have been bitten by a Russell's viper.
Her husband Gausud Mohamad informed that Nesha was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital for 11 days.

“Luckily, she survived. We had lost all hopes of her being alive,” said Mohamad. He informed that doctors had to transfuse eight pints blood on Nesha and he had to spend over Rs 80,000 on her treatment.

Locals of Kudia and other VDCs are living in the terror of venomous Russell's viper. The snake is found in the Indian Subcontinent, much of South Asia, southern China and Taiwan. Rural population of India has been highly affected by the Russell's viper. Nawalparasi is an adjoining district with India.

Similarly, Bishojit Kurmi, an 11-year-old- boy of Guthiprasauni-9, died after being bitten by Russell's viper, two months ago.

The government provides snake anti-venom free of cost but the victims of Russell's viper need intensive care for a long time. Victims have to pay exorbitant fee for the intensive care unit (ICU) service.

According to Chandramani Sharma, a health worker, viper venom makes the blood very thin and directly affects the kidney, so the victims need dialysis service.

“We have to conduct blood examinations three times in 24 hours and transfuse blood on the victims,” he said, adding that the treatment of viper victims is costly and arduous.

He said that most of snake bite victims cannot afford costly ICU care and kidney dialysis. Relatives of patients complained that they are forced to even pay for antibiotics.

Major Saroj Koirala, of the Bajradal Brigade's snake bite treatment center at Tribeni, informed that the number of victims bitten by Russell's viper have increased at the treatment center in the last few months. He informed that along with Kudia VDC, Russell's viper is found in Narsahi, Daunedevi, Jamunia, Rupauliya, Rampur, Khadauna, Guthiprasauni and other VDCs.

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