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Ministry of Health Develops Strategy On Snake Bites

Ministry of Health Develops Strategy On Snake Bites

Snakebite envenoming is a potentially life-threatening disease that is caused by toxins in the bite of a venomous snake. At times, if they don’t treat it, it can cause permanent disability or even death in some cases.

The good news is that the Ministry of Health has developed a national snakebite prevention and management strategy.

This will help address snakebite envenoming in Uganda. The aim of the strategy is to half the number of deaths, mobility and cases of disability cause by snakebite envenoming.

The assistant commissioner in charge of the Vector Control Division, Dr. Alfred Mubanguzi presented the strategy.

He did this at a multi stakeholder forum at the Golf Course Hotel, Kampala, where he said the strategy will deal with the challenge of snakebites.

The strategy has four main objectives which include empowering and engaging communities as well as safe and effective snakebite treatment.

In addition to those, is strengthening health systems and increasing partnerships, and lastly co-ordination and resources.

A study in 2018 found that snakebite and snakebite envenoming was a serious public health problem in 144 health facilities.

The Ministry registered a total of 12,479 cases of snakebites in one year although experts say they underestimated the findings.

Apparently, experts said the risk of a snakebite is high, especially among poor people living in rural areas and working in gardens.

Another recent study by the Makerere University School of Public health showed that out of 1,080 households, 341 had a case of snakebite. Among the 6,600 members in the 1,080 households, 441 have ever suffered a snake bite.

Denis Kibira, the executive director of Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS), said they had neglected snakebites.

‘’When you have a strategy in place, it also acts as a tool for resource mobilization in various areas that need to be addressed,’’ Kibira said.

He also noted that the use of traditional herbs in communities is also affecting the management of snakebites.

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