In Mouth Piece
“Halla Bol” penned by Priyanka Kadam
HallaBol was a war cry used in the past to build up frenzied energy to spill over into the battle field with destructive force. In this day and age the same slogan signifies the intent to wipe out social evils that dog our day to day life.
From Snakebite Healing and Education Society’s perspective: Halla Bol is the rallying cry to fight societal myths around snakes and snakebite and spread awareness to mitigate this highly neglected issue. The various areas to mitigate snakebites are:
- Learn to live with the elements (snakes) instead of going on a killing spree. This can be done by creating scenarios that can minimize the risk of a venomous snakebite. Eliminate micro habitats that can attract and house rodents, lizards and snakes. Avoid having shrubs in the garden close to the house, potted plants in the patio, gunny bags filled with food grains, twigs and dried cow dung cake piles(used as fuel in the villages), garbage bins and basically all things stored close to and inside houses that can be used as temporary dwellings for rodents, lizards and snakes.
- Reach out to the communities in the villages, towns and cities and create awareness about the venomous snakes found in their region. Discuss their natural tendencies like which part of the day / year they are most active.What is their prey base? When do they mate as this is the time the snakes are up and about in search of a potential mate. Knowing basic facts about these reptiles can keep us out of danger.
- Avoid sleeping on floors
- Use mosquito nets that can help not just prevent malaria but also keep away snakes, scorpions, centipedes and spiders.
- Look before you reach out to pull out or store things in a corner. Be aware of where you put your hand and feet especially after dark.
- Use of torches / lanterns while venturing out after sun down.
- Use of proper footwear to prevent bites.
- Eliminate all snakebite myths plaguing the masses with science based rationality and logic.
- Spread the message about Snake Anti Venom (ASV) being the only treatment to cure a venomous snake bite.
- Spread the importance of taking a snakebite victim immediately to the nearest hospital. The first hour of the bite (referred to as the golden hour) is the most crucial in the survival and recovery of the victim.
- As a care giver to a snakebite victim, staying calm in a snakebite situation is important and helps the victim to relax. Do not accompany the victim to the hospital as a large group. Allow the treating doctor to work effectively and refrain from creating an emotional ruckus that can scare the doctor and refer the patient to a higher hospital. Time is of immense essence in a venomous snakebite situation. Snakebite can be managed at the tertiary hospital provided the doctors are given the space and opportunity to treat the patient.
- As a doctor, have confidence in your ability to treat a snakebite victim. In a scenario where the condition of the victim is deteriorating; do connect with Snakebite Healing and Education Society at 9820523297. We will connect you to an expert doctor who can provide guidance on phone. Do not refer patients without trying the first line of treatment at your hospital. In a scenario, the patient is serious and difficult to manage without life support, always prepare the referral card for the victim’s family to take along to the next hospital. Please treat all snakebite cases on priority to ensure commencement of immediate treatment as every second matters. Treat every patient as your own and be a life saver.