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Snakebite Cases Rise in Aftermath of Floods in the North

2007-10-11 21:59:22
This article has been read 686 times.

The Daboya Health Centre in the West Gonja District of the Northern Region has seen a rise in snakebite cases following recent floods, which hit the northern parts of the country.

Mr Dawura Adams, Senior Medical Assistant at the Centre, told a group of journalists on a tour of the Northern Region that in the past two weeks the health facility had received about five snakebite cases although for the past two years the Centre had not handled any case involving snakebites.

Recent floods that hit the three northern regions destroyed life and property with humans, animals and reptiles fleeing.

Mr Adams told the journalists from the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) that the centre had to refer the snakebite cases because there was no anti-snake bite serum to treat victims.

The journalists are in the Region to assess the health status of the people, with particular emphasis on malaria cases following the floods that hit the area from late August to early September.

Mr Adams said malaria was top on the list of common cases of Out Patients' Department attendance with diarrhoea and upper respiratory tract infections being common cases at the Centre.

He said pregnant women were being served with intermittent preventive treatment for malaria, while treated bed nets were also being made available to cut down on malaria. Mr Adams said the Centre, which served about 38 communities in the West Gonja District, had until recently faced problems with how to reach the communities with services because it had only one motorcycle.

He said following the floods, however, the Health Minister, Major Courage Quashigah had made 10 bicycles and two motorcycles available to the Centre, which served Daboya and other communities in the District known as "overseas" because of its inaccessibility.

Earlier, Petty Officer Seidu Gariba of the Eastern Naval Command in Tema, who assisted in ferrying the journalists to cross the While Volta River to Daboya, said the Navy had been on hand after the floods to ferry people including snakebite victims from Daboya, which could only be accessed by boat or helicopter, to near-by health facilities. He said they were also helping in carting relief items to the area.

The trip by the journalists was sponsored by the Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance, an African-led institution involved in researching into malaria drugs and vaccine across the continent supported by a 17 milion-dollar Bill Gates Foundation grant.

The trip is to help the journalists to have first-hand information about the malaria situation on the ground and report on real stories of people affected by the floods and how they could be helped.

source: ADM

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