India ignores nightmare snakebite slaughter


Illustration by Elizabeth Blockway / The Daily Beast

Illustration by Elizabeth Blockway / The Daily Beast

New Delhi — Deadly Onslaught Snakebite The attack has been wiped out India Tens of thousands are killed each year. So far, the government’s response has been to ignore the crisis and cover it up completely with trivial matters.

2020 studyBased on oral autopsy, on average, nearly 58,000 Indian citizens die each year from snakebites.In contrast, of the country government Report a tremendously low number: In 2018, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey declared only 689 snake-related. Dead (number) It occurred in India that year. It is part of the numbers referenced in this survey and will soon be loved by any expert.

Shashikant Dubay, 28, suddenly felt a burning sensation in his hands when he was working in the rice fields of Niwari, a small countryside in Madhya Pradesh, central India last month. “The pain was as if someone had peeled my hand,” Dubay told The Daily Beast.

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At first I thought I was stabbed by a scorpion, but when my hands started to turn black, I noticed that I was bitten by a poisonous snake. Growing up, Dubay often saw people in his village die after being bitten by a snake. Instead of hospitals, villagers are often taken to local quaks to please their gods (in Hindu culture, milk is considered to have a purifying nature) and their lives are Soaked them in milk and water in the hope that they would be saved.

But last year, when the village vegetable seller died after Kwak refused to take her to the hospital, a sense of opposition to tradition began to grow in the Dubay community.

“The death was unknowingly left in my heart, so I was going to go to the hospital instead of the hustle and bustle of the village right away,” Dubay said. Cut his hand and shed “dirty” blood until he manages to rush to the doctor.

By the time he was taken to the hospital, his blood oxygen saturation had dropped significantly and his condition had deteriorated. In the next few days, he was injected with 40 antitoxin vials.

Still, Duby was lucky. He survived. But Salman Kamal’s 24-year-old friend, Achilles Tapa, did not.

“When the snake bit him, Achilles was sleeping in his house. It was night, so I couldn’t arrange to take him to the hospital right away. And when we finally did it, it was too late. Yes, he died on the way [to the hospital]Kamal, a resident of the Bethia region near the border between India and Nepal, told The Daily Beast.

Kamal says such incidents are too common in his village.

“Last year, a woman who lived near my house went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and a snake bit her. It was dark during the monsoon, so when the snake bit her, she was a bug. I thought, “he said. “Because of the darkness, I slept unnoticed as a snake. During the night, the poison spread throughout her body and she eventually died,” explained Kamal.

India’s snakebite crisis has many reasons, including a lack of first aid facilities, reliance on “spiritual healers” and quacks, and an overwhelming population of snakes living near farmlands where they come to hunt rodents. there is. Another factor is the awe of Indian snakes. Hindus consider Shiva, one of the main Hindu gods, to be the “Lord of Snakes.”A 25-year-old man living in Bihar, eastern India, at last month’s festival Died While dealing with snakes at religious festivals.

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“I receive eight to ten rescue calls daily. Wildlife conservationist and public educator Surya Kielti, who has rescued more than 6,000 snakes in the last three years, is second only to The Daily Beast. When farmers are harvesting or planting crops, they accidentally step on a snake and then bite it. “

According to experts, the lack of basic health centers near these villages is one of the reasons behind many casualties because patients cannot be treated quickly enough.

“People always waste a lot of time going to medical facilities, which leads to many deaths,” said Avinash Visvanathan, general secretary of the Friends of Snake Society, an Indian nonprofit specializing in snake protection. say. “And there are many more time-consuming pitfalls and healers, and victims usually go to these quackers and healers before reaching out to a medical facility. Snakebite and treatment. This considerable delay in receiving time is the main reason why there are so many complications and so many deaths. “

Most of the 300 species of snakes found in India are non-toxic, but four highly dangerous snakes, the Indian cobra, the common crate, the Russell’s viper, and the saw-scaled snake, kill a large number of Indians each year.

Visvanathan has a very low number of snake-related cases, as the government has not made efforts to properly document cases and make the data available to researchers and experts working to mitigate snakebites. I think it has been reported.

Dealing with this crisis is not an easy task. “First and foremost, we need to make it a noticeable illness, and only we can get the actual image,” says Visvanathan. Making it a noticeable illness means that government or private hospital doctors must report all cases of snakebite death to the government. Experts say it will be easier for the government to hide the numbers if it doesn’t make it a noticeable illness.

Priyanka Kadam, chairman and founder of the Snakebite Healing and Education Society in Mumbai, believes that the narrow view of the Indian Ministry of Health needs to notify only infectious diseases. “We have data on tuberculosis, cholera, and other illnesses. We now have rabies that can be reported, but we don’t have snakebites,” says Kadam.

Resource shortages and stunting of antitoxins in rural hospitals are separate issues. “The situation is getting worse because of the lack of equipment and trained staff in government-run primary health centers,” says Visvanatha.

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National doctors also say there is a lack of public awareness of how to seek immediate help, which dramatically increases the number of causal relationships. “The overwhelming majority of cases are asymptomatic and bitten by non-venomous snakes, yet there are many casualties and morbidities due to lack of consciousness,” said Bihar, eastern India. Says Dr. Rama Chandra Kumar, a government doctor at Nalanda Medical College Hospital.

“What we see is that snakebite patients have other injuries such as cuts and bruises, exacerbating the problem. To ooze blood, people Cut around the snakebite area using an available accessory such as a knife or sword. Tie a cloth near the bite to apply pressure and allow blood to reach other parts of the body. “Prevents,” Kumar said, explaining that these DIY treatments often cause additional complications.

According to Visvanasan, without government support, India’s snakebite crisis is endless.

“The main problems with snakebites are actually the lack of data, the lack of baseline data, and the lack of a mechanism to determine the severity of the problem,” he said. “The government is sitting on it for some strange reason.”

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