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Karnataka govt designates snakebite treating centres

ASHA workers have been directed to counsel the patient and attenders and ensure that they reach the health facility at the earliest, while health workers at sub-centres have to administer first-aid and inform the PHC medical officer to enable the patient to receive treatment at the earliest.
Last Updated 02 March 2024, 23:21 IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka's Health and Family Welfare Department has identified all taluk and district hospitals, and selected Community Health Centres across the state as snakebite treating centres. 

The recent notification issued by the Commissionerate of Health and Family Welfare Services also outlined guidelines for the treatment of snakebite cases across all levels. This follows the government’s decision to make snake bites a notifiable disease. 

ASHA workers have been directed to counsel the patient and attenders and ensure that they reach the health facility at the earliest, while health workers at sub-centres have to administer first-aid and inform the PHC medical officer to enable the patient to receive treatment at the earliest. 

On receiving patients, Primary Health Centres and Community Health Centres should first stabilise the patient and examine them for envenomation. If envenomation is detected, the initial loading dose of 10 vials of the antisnake venom (ASV) needs to be administered free of charge. For further management, patients can be referred to a taluk or district hospital in a free ambulance. 

Health workers must also report all cases of snake bites and deaths due to snake bites on the Integrated Health Information Platform and ensure adequate stocks of ASV. 

A similar approach is advised for health workers and doctors at the taluk and district hospitals, who have also been directed to admit all cases of snake bites regardless of whether envenomation is observed and keep patients under observation for at least 24 hours. 

All District Health and Family Welfare officers, District Surveillance Officers and Taluk Health Officers have been directed to train all specialists, medical officers and health workers in the district regarding snake prevention and management. All of them have to compulsorily update cases and deaths on the IHIP portal. 

Along with this, the district audit committee has been asked to conduct an audit of all snakebite deaths and submit a report to the state. Additionally, if the officers identify that people from a village take 30 minutes or more to reach their nearest PHC or the taluk hospital, they must identify a CHC that a patient can reach under 30 minutes and designate it as a snakebite treating centre. 

The circular has also identified and trained physicians from district hospitals across districts as clinical nodal officers and includes a basic checklist of human resources, equipment and drugs required for all Snakebite Treating Centres. 

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(Published 02 March 2024, 23:21 IST)

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