December 28, 2019
Coimbatore : As many as 10,000 people die each year in rural Tamil Nadu due to snake bites, according to a survey conducted by UK-based University of Reading.
The University has surveyed 30,000 households in the rural areas of the State to understand how frequently snake bites occur and its health and socio-economic impacts. varsity Associate Professor Shaktivel Vaaiyapuri told reporters here Saturday.
” We found four per cent of the people surveyed had suffered snake bites and they disproportionately affect the agricultural workers. 79 per cent people who had been bitten were in the fields and 72 per cent were working at the time.”
“A further 19 per cent were bitten while walking close to home and the great majority-82 per cent were bitten on the leg or a foot and 16 per cent on the lower arm or hand,” Vaiyapuri said.
Stating that the socio-ecnomic impact of this was considerable in terms of the cost of treatment, loss of working days and lost income, as well as the long-term impacts on health, disability and the ability to work, he said that while most victims 84 per cent were in hospital for less than a week, 14 per cent for between one and three months and almost half 47 per cent suffered no no major economic loss.
Lack of knowledge of essential first aid and the correct treatment often led to complications and worsened patients outcome, he said.
Stating that the government should increase the public awareness about snakebites through extensive campaign, Vaiyapuri suggested that Government should also provide complete cover for snakebite treatment through Medical policy schemes to seek prompt treatment in any hospitals, including private ones.
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