The survey showed that Kumuli registered 349 cases of snakebites, Mubende 326, Yumbe 395, Amuru 283 between July 2017 to July 2018.
Kamuli, Mubende, Gulu, Yumbe, Amuru districts have registered the highest cases of snakebites, according to a recent study.
The survey that was conducted in all the regions in the country, showed that Kumuli registered 349 cases of snakebites, Mubende 326, Yumbe 395, Amuru 283 between July 2017 to July 2018.
Kamuli district authorities are worried about the increasing cases of snakebites. The assistant district health officer, Moses Lyagoba said the most affected sub-counties in Kamuli are those around River Nile, and they include Magogo, Kisozi, Mbulamuti, Namasagali, Balawoli and Kagumba.
Lyagoba said the Puff Adder, a venomous viper snake species found in African savannah and grasslands, is the commonest snake in the district.
He said most of its victims are children between five and 10 years.
He, however, said health workers in the most affected districts have limited knowledge in treating snakebite victims.
"Health workers have limited knowledge, in the curriculum, there is only a component of first Aid. We want our health workers to be sensitised so that they treat victims of snakebites effectively," Lyagoba said.
HAI snakebite regional coordinator Royjan Taylor chating with (L) assistant District Health Officer, Moses Lyagoba (c) and HEPS executive director, Denis Kibira after the snakebite multi-stakeholder’s Group Training for Uganda. PHOTO: Violet Nabatanzi
He appealed to the ministry of health to avail the district with the South African antivenom which is more effective compared to Indian anti-venoms.
Midigo Health Centre IV’s head, Dr. Shaffi Hamza said for the few cases they register at this health facility , they treat patients with intravenous fluids, hydrocortisone, antibiotics and anti-tetanus. He said most of the snakes are not poisonous and therefore they don’t use anti-venom.
The survey done by Health Action International (HAI), a global health nongovernmental organisation and HEPs, showed that 92% of the health care workers had not received any training in treating snakebites, and 78% of the facilities appear to be insufficiently equipped for snakebite treatment.
The survey also revealed that only 4% of the facilities had anti-venom. In private facilities, snakebites treatment is the most expensive."Patients have to pay sh800, 000 for the antivenom." the survey said.
HAI snakebite regional coordinator, Royjan Taylor said Africa has more than one species of snakes.
Taylor said snakebites are a neglected tropical disease and it has got little attention.
He also appealed to the public to desist from using blackstones saying that it does not treat snakebites.
HEPS’S executive director Denis Kibira said its unfortunate that majority of health workers are not trained in the management of snakebites adding that if they are not trained they cannot know which commodities to use to manage the problem.