OP-ED

Health Sector Gap for Snake Venomings and Treatment in Uganda

At health facility level, there should be corners mainly for snake treatment with fully equipped health workers and medicines needed to treat the snake poisons.

Has there been any sector reform that clearly describes the prevention, treatment, and management of snake bites?

Recent estimates, which are fragmentarily provided, variously suggested that worldwide, venomous snakes cause approximately 5.4 million bites, about 2.5 million envenomings and over 125,000 deaths annually, with more than 3 million bites per year resulting in more than 150,000 deaths or “several million bites and envenoming annual. These figures clearly indicate how snake bite present as a burden to both social and economical sectors of the country.

However, many health facilities do not have snake treatment as a health priority. This leaves many people that have faced such a problem to avoid health care services and or die due to lack of appropriate treatment. Many articles reveal how there is many cultures and tribes with different care practices for victims that have been bitten by snakes. They clearly describe the medicines with the black stone and some herbal medicines being prominent. It some areas the coin philosophy is also preached.

The ministry of health has not chambered a particular board, or committee for the snake burden in the country yet Uganda is composed of a variety of snake categories. In the health sector, therefore, means there is no education programs of even research funding for such burdens. This will in the end leave many communities especially those who are not able to understand the local treatment to succumb to infection and deaths over time.

Like all other programs like Malaria prevention, WASH, HIV/AIDs and pothers addressed by the ministry, the Snake health burden should be clearly addressed with clear health education programs about the snake prevention techniques, the first aid procedures and messages to destroy habitats of snakes. Additionally, at health facility level, there should be corners mainly for snake treatment with fully equipped health workers and medicines needed to treat the snake poisons. This is a way will try to prevent the burden of snakes poisonings in Uganda and globally thus attaining the SDGs of mainly health.

NB: One health approach to such an issue would be the best strategy since other disciplines have more direct engagement with the problem. 

For more information visit: https://healthpromotioncorner.blogspot.com

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