Health facilities in Udayapur facing shortage of snake antivenom

A file photo


Katari hospital and Nepal Army-run health center are reeling under shortage of snake venom antiserum for the past two months creating difficulties for the health facilities to deal with increasing number of snakebite patients.

So much so that approximately half a dozen snakebite patients of Katari area died for want of timely treatment in the past two months alone, claimed a local resident Ganesh Baral. Snakebite incidents go unchecked especially in tarai area during monsoon, and health facilities are reported to often lack snake antivenom worsening the situation.

The two health institutions are receiving two or four snakebite patients on a daily basis, but they are forced to refer them elsewhere without the antivenom, said authorities of the hospitals.

In some cases, the referrals may cost life of patients midway, said Chief of the Katari hospital Dr Gaurab Sah.

A hospital needs at least 40 vials of antivnenom in stock besides a ventilator and intensive care unit for snakebite patients, he said, adding however that the hospital lacks these facilities making the matter worse.

“Snakebite incidents are taking place in the area surrounded by forests. But health facilities in the area often lack the antivenom causing in some cases death of the patients,” he said.

At least 50 vials of the antivenom should be in stock, but the health center is making do with only 20 vials at present, said Major Upendra Regmi.

Of more than 100 snakebite patients the health facility received in the past four months alone, 13 return

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