Snakes kill 3 farmers in Bole...25 more cases recorded; No anti-snake drugs

Date: Sunday May 19, 2019, 4:02 pm

By: WatchGhana.Com/Akyereba Kwabena

Shortage of Snake Venom Anti-serum in the Bole Government Hospital of the Savannah Region has led to the death of three persons, WatchGhana.Com has filed. The three persons who died last week are all male farmers, who were rushed to the facility after they were bitten by snakes.
The District Director of Health Services, Dr. David Bukari Mbaje who confirmed the incident said they have lost three lives in Bole so far because the hospital had run out of anti-snake venom for treatment since last year, 2018.
Dr. Mbaje revealed that 25 cases of snake bites had been recorded at the facility between January and May this year, 2019.
He suspected that the number could be more than what is recorded since some of the victims do not report to the hospital due to the shortage.
“This month (May) alone we recorded 10 cases as against seven cases in April and the rest in January, February and March. This tells you how serious it has become,” he lamented.
Dr. Mbaje said that the Bole Government Hospital could have saved the lives of those three persons who died from the snake bites, if the drugs were readily available for their treatment.
Saying, “When the people were brought into the facility they have to be referred to Wa, Wenchi and Damongo but unfortunately they died on the way”.
He said anti-snake venoms are program drugs and wondered why it is not in stall because the hospitals cannot buy it from the market and sell to patients. Dr. Mbaje indicated that their checks at the Northern Regional Medical Stores in Tamale on May 13, 2019 revealed that there were still no anti-snake venoms. “The death of these three individuals can be attributed to medical negligence on the part of government and Ghana Health Service to make the drugs available because some of these cases need emergency response especially when it is a poisonous snake” he stated. The Bole District Director of Health therefore appealed to the Government, NGOs and faith-based organisations to come to the aid of the hospital. The Medical Superintendent of the hospital Dr. Jatuat Gerard said it is sad that some of these needless deaths occurred just because of a lack of essential drugs. He warned of a possible escalation of snake bites during the raining season as most farmers and shea nut pickers would go about their businesses. Dr. Gerard urged the people to always make hospital their first point call in case of snake bite for immediate response. He warned farmers and women who go to pick shea nuts from bush to take their protective measures seriously. The Programme Coordinator of Jaksally Development Organization Jeremiah Seidu who visited the hospital and mourned with the bereaved families of a young man who died on May 12, 2019 in Bole called for emergency delivery of the drugs to the hospitals in the northern parts of the country to avoid more deaths because this is the farming season. He said anti-snake venoms are essential drugs and the Ministry of health and GHS must prioritize by making the products available to support hospitals treat patients when they are reported. ”We as development partners who support in the supply of these drugs will say that it’s a failure on the part of government for not prioritizing some of these products thereby making innocent people lost their lives just because Bole hospital has no anti-snake drugs for a year now” he fumed. The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Bole, Madam Veronica Alele Herming who lost one of her nephews last week appealed the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health to air-left the drugs and make it available to the hospital. “I have received numerous calls from people complaining about how snakes are killing people in their communities. I think this shouldn’t be happening and looking at the fact that this is a farming and shea picking season for these people. So I think something must be done immediately".

Source: WatchGhana.Com/Akyereba Kwabena

Author: WatchGhana.Com    Verified


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