In a bolt to Valley’s health sector, all the hospitals here except SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) lack the all-time required lifesaving vaccine, anti-venom. The shortage, despite claiming so many lives earlier, continues to prevail with medical authorities seeming totally indifferent towards the concern.
According to details reaching Srinagar based news gathering agency GNS, all the hospitals across the Valley except SKIMS are without anti-venom which is a lifesaving vaccine. The deficiency of vaccine severely affects the patients particularly snake-bitten who have to, without any choice, reach SKIMS, Soura, which is the sole hospital where some Anti-Venom vaccines are available to cater entire Valley.
“There are so many people who die from venomous snakebites as such people, though living in remote areas can’t make it to SKIMS on time,” Farooq Ahmad, who worked at Help Poor Voluntary Trust told GNS.
He said the toxins in the venom of snakes like cobras and Kraits slowly paralyze their victims, who ultimately die of suffocation. “A child from Chitragul, Islamabad was bitten by snake last week. He was shifted to Sub-District Hospital Anantnag but due to the absence of life saving vaccine in the hospital he was shifted to SMHS Hospital, Srinagar and later to SKIMS, Soura”.
The bite of a cobra or any other dangerous snake can paralyze its victims. It is estimated that more than 75 per cent of patients in India who die from snakebites never make it to the hospital.
When contacted Medical Superintendent, SMHS, Hospital Nazir Ahmad Chowdary said: “As of date, we do not have Anti-Venom vaccine in our hospital but whenever there is requirement subsequently we will order them.”
Dr. Nisar ul Hassan, President Doctors’ Association of Kashmir (DAK) while talking to GNS on phone said it is mandatory to keep lifesaving vaccines available at every district hospital. “If first dose is delayed to the victim, the chances of rabies are high which ultimately results in his death,” he said.
“Whosoever says that we will order the vaccines if required, should be booked under medical criminal cases for the loss of life caused due to absence of these lifesaving drugs,” Dr. Nisar added.