Shortage of Snake Venom Anti-serum in the Bole government hospital of the Savannah Region has let three died. The three individuals who died last week are all male farmers after they were reported to have been bitten by a snake. The District Director of Health

Dr David Bukari Mbaje who confirmed the incident said they have lost three lives in Bole because the hospital has no anti-snake venom for treatment since last year and when the people were brought into the facility, they have to refer them to Wa, Wench and Damongo were they couldn’t make it.

He said anti-snake venoms are program drugs and wondered why it is not installed because the hospitals cannot buy it from the market and sell to patients.

Dr Mbaje revealed that 25 cases of snake bites has been recorded since January and May this year. He said the number could be more because some of the victims don’t report to the hospital due to the shortage. “This month (May) alone we recorded 10 cases as against seven cases in April and the rest in January, February and March, this tells you how serious it has become” he lamented.

According to the Director, he indicated that their checks at the regional medical stall in Tamale on May 13, 2019, indicated that there were no anti-snake venoms. “I will blame the death of these three individuals as medical negligent on the part of the government and Ghana Health Service to make the drugs available because some of these cases need emergency response especially when it is a poisonous snake” he stated.

He said the situation is an emergency one and called on GHS and government and other NGOs to come to the aid of the hospital.

The Medical Superintendent of the hospital Dr Jatuat Gerard said it is sad that some of these needless deaths occurred just because of a lack of essential drugs. He warned of a possible escalation of snake bites as the onset of rains because farmers and shea pickers will be victims. Dr Gerard urged the people to always make hospital their first call in case of snakebite for immediate response. He warned farmers and women who go to pick shea nuts from bush to take their protective measures seriously.

The Program Coordinator of Jaksally Development Organization Jeremiah Seidu who visited the hospital and mourned with the bereaved families of a young man who died on May 12, 2019, in Bole called for emergency delivery of the drugs to the hospitals in the northern parts of the country to avoid more deaths because this is the farming season. He said anti-snake venoms are essential drugs and the Ministry of health and GHS must prioritize by making the products available to support hospitals treat patients when they are reported.

” We as development partners who support in the supply of these drugs will say that it’s a failure on the part of the government for not prioritizing some of these products thereby making innocent people lost their lives just because Bole hospital has no anti-snake drugs for a year now” he fumed.

The DCE of the area Hon. Alele Hermming who lost one of her nephews last week want the GHS and the Ministry of Health to air-left the drugs and make it available to the hospital as claimed by some people that the drugs are sitting in Accra. This she said will put confidence in people to report to the hospital anytime such an incident occurs. “I have received numerous calls of people complained to me Honourable somebody has died in our area after he or she was bitten by a snake at the farm, this shouldn’t be happening and looking at the fact that this is a farming and shea picking season for these people so I think something must be done immediately.