Odisha Govt prepares action plan to reduce snakebite deaths

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Bhubaneswar: A meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi on Wednesday to discuss on preparing an action plan to contain huge number of deaths occurring in the State due to snakebite.

Analysis indicates that as many as 1716 people have lost their lives due to snakebite during the last 3 years 2015-16 to 2017-18. While 446 people died due to snakebite in 2015-16, the snakebite death in 2016-17 and 2017-18 remained 574 and 696 respectively.

Number of casualties due to snakebite, highest among all disasters, accounts for about 37% of total disaster deaths (4689) during the period. Statistics shows that highest 164 deaths have occurred in Balasore district followed by 147 in Ganjam and 145 in both Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj during these years.

Nearly 85% of snakebite deaths have occurred during the six months from May to October showing a definite correlation with rain and flood. Highest casualties have occurred in July (314), followed by August (306), June (281), September (253), May (156) and October (154). Lowest snakebite deaths have occurred in January.

Records of Health & Family Welfare Department show that 11,001 persons were admitted to different hospitals in the state during the year 2017-18. Chief Secretary expressed his concern on rising number of deaths due to snakebite in the State and directed to take necessary steps to contain the trend.

After elaborate discussion, the following decisions are taken in the meeting.

  1. All snakebite victims must be brought to nearest health institution at the earliest for medical examination and administering Anti-Snake Venom (ASV), if required to save their lives. They must not avail treatment by quacks. This message has to be widely circulated through intensive awareness programmes.
  2. Massive awareness campaign shall be taken up by Health & Family Welfare, Forest & Environment, Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water, Women & Child Development and Mission Shakti, Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment and other Departments involving their field level workers. OUAT shall take steps to sensitize the farmers during Farmers’ Trainings.

3. Special attention shall be given to districts and blocks where more number of snakebite deaths has occurred.

4. IEC materials on Do’s and Don’ts in case of snakebite shall be developed by the Forest & Environment                         Department both in Odia and English within 7 days. Health Department will take steps to print adequate                     copies for wide circulation.

5.Sufficient quantity of Anti Venom Serum shall be kept in hospitals especially in all CHCs/ PHCs where large                 number of snakebite deaths has occurred.

6.Required number of 108-Ambulance service shall be made available in major affected blocks for shifting the               snakebite patients to the nearest health institution.

7. H&FW Department will ensure availability of one MBBS M.O. in PHCs in the highly snakebite-prone areas.

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