The Lancet: Primary health care for snakebite in India is inadequate

10 January, 2020

Citation and extracts below from a letter in the new print issue (11 January) of The Lancet.

CITATION: Correspondence| volume 395, issue 10218, p112, january 11, 2020

Primary health care for snakebite in India is inadequate

Himmatrao Saluba Bawaskar, Pramodini Himmatrao Bawaskar, Parag Himmatrao Bawaskar

Published: January 11, 2020

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31909-9

Antivenin is freely available at public hospitals in Maharashtra and is given without any cost, but medical personnel in these centres are untrained with regard to snakebite treatment and some might not have even treated snakebites before. Medical personnel operate on the basis that a snakebite is the indication for antivenin administration, but this results in low antivenin supplies.

After a snakebite, patients seek medical care from primary health-care centres, which are often no more than a cattle shed... in rural India, even if a patient reaches the primary health-care centre quickly they can still die because of the poor availability of medical supplies and the low number of adequately trained medical staff...

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org