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General News of Saturday, 1 February 2020


Snakebites in Ashanti Region highest in 2019

Executive Director of the African Research Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Dr John Amuasi says Ghana records an average of 9,600 snakebites every year.

There is the need for concerted effort by stakeholders to eliminate the number bites and of death caused by snakes every year, Dr Amuasi recommends.

Although it is not known how many of these bites resulted in deaths, persons between the ages 20 and 34 years suffer the most bites.

The average number of bites per year show that the Upper West Region had the highest of 1,425 bites followed by Ashanti Region with 1,161 bites. Eastern Region records 987 bites, Central Region with 897 bites and Northern Region recording 799 bites.

Dr Amuasi made this known at a media briefing as the world celebrated World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day on Friday.

He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had included snakebite envenoming in the NTDs as it results in enormous suffering, disability and premature death on every continent.

According to him, in 2019, for the first time in five years, the Ashanti Region recorded the highest number of 1,535 bites.

Government Adviser on Health Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare indicated that currently anti-snake venom was free and the country was exploring how to effectively distribute the venom to where they are most needed, using the medical drones.

He stated that Ghana was considering, as a long term measure, the production of its own anti-snake venom to ensure that the right type is always available for the use of patients.