Snakebite cases up in Western Region
Research conducted by the School of Public Health, University of Ghana, has revealed that 7, 275 snakebites were recorded in the Western Region between 2006 and 2010 with 12 deaths.
Mr. Ebenezer Kofi Mensah, a laboratory technologist with the School of Public Health who collected the data, said 3,776 males and 7,275 females were bitten representing 51.9 % and 48.1 % respectively.
He said productive young men and women as well as children below 15 years were often victims.
Speaking at the Annual Performance Review Meeting of the Western Regional Health Directorate held in Takoradi on Thursday, Mr. Mensah said, the research formed part of Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme to assess snakebites magnitude in the Region.
Mr. Mensah stated that about one million snakebites were recorded in Africa with 5.5 million globally.
He said anti-snake serum supplied to health facilities in the Region is inadequate and asked for more of such drugs to be distributed, adding that snakebite is life threatening and results in hypotension, shock, blood clotting and bleeding.
Mr Mensah said snakebites in the Region could be attributed to widespread forest reserves with most of the inhabitants being farmers who go to farm without wearing protective clothing, he added.
Mr. Mensah suggested that, there must be more public education and sensitization on the use of protective gears by farmers to avoid being bitten by snakes.
In addition, he said, victims must be advised to report snakebites to health facilities early instead of self-medication and that most victims of snakebite in the Region apply their own medication which worsens their condition leading to their death.