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UoN & KNH hold 1st symposium on improving snakebites outcomes in Kenya

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Date and time: 
Mon, 2018-03-19 16:20
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Royjan Taylor (R) and his colleague from Bio Ken snake farm demonstrare how to obtain venom from a snake at the symposium.

Medical practitioners have raised concerns over the unavailability of snake antivenoms in health centers located in rural areas.

According to the medics, there is an urgent need to address the issue and have the medication available in those facilities since many cases occur in those areas.

The discussion was brought up during the 1st symposium on improving snakebites outcomes in Kenya organized by the University of Nairobi, College of Health Sciences (CHS) in collaboration with Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

Speaking at the symposium, CHS acting Principal Prof. Fredrick Were said medics need more information on how to handle cases of snakebites and communicate the same to the general public.

“Snakes are frightening and a serious issue especially in rural areas. It is good that such a topic is being discussed here, and we hope this will continue until the issue is fully tackled,” Prof. Were said.

His sentiments were echoed by School of Pharmacy Dean, Prof. Anastansia Guantai who said many forums on the same topic will be held to discuss the issue broadly.

“We will engage members of public in these forums and also ensure that antivenoms are made available in rural areas, now that the issue has come up,” Prof. Guantai said.

On his part, KNH’s acting Director of Clinical Services Dr. Peter Masinde said there is need for medics to conduct public awareness, research and implementation and also come up with policies and guidelines on how to handle snakebites.

Acting KNH CEO Dr. Thomas Mutie noted that snakebite is a medical emergency that need urgent medical attention especially after it was added to the list of neglected tropical diseases by the World Health Organization.

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