A total of 126 people in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region, have suffered snakebites between January and June this year, resulting in the death of five women.
Dr Abdulai Abukari, Medical Superintendent of the Walewale hospital told the GNA in an interview that the problem of snakebites was serious and urged government to provide Anti Snake Serum to the hospital to save lives.
He said last year, 183 people also suffered snakebite, with one death recorded.
He indicated that the problem often got worse during the shea nut picking season and said it was a matter of concern that the women often entered the bush to pick shea nuts without wearing protective gloves.
“This number only represents the reported cases in the district and I am sure the unreported cases will be more than this.”, he said.
Dr Abukari said in view of this trend there was the need for the public to volunteer and donate blood to the hospital to save lives, “If our blood bank has blood we can save many lives because all those who died bled to death”.
Madam Lariba Abudu, Assembly woman for the Fongu Electoral Area in the District who also spoke in an interview with the GNA, decried the frequent loss of lives among women shea-nut pickers through snake bites.
She said eight women from her electoral area suffered snakebites this year, resulting in the death of a pregnant woman by name Fati Abu.
She indicated that most of the affected persons were not getting treatment at the hospital because there was no vaccine and appealed to the Ministry of Health to as a matter of urgency provide the rural hospitals with anti-snake serum to save lives.
Madam Lariba appealed to government, civil society groups and the various shea nut buyers associations to come to the aid of the women by providing them with protective gloves to save lives.
She also appealed to the government to work towards improving the poor road network in the rural communities to ensure that emergency cases arrived in the major health centres in good time for attention.
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