CMC PCC commemorates the 6th International Snakebite Awareness Day-2023
The 6th International Snakebite Awareness Day was observed by the CMC Poison Control Centre on September 19, 2023. The day marked the culmination of year-long activities that were organized to increase awareness about snakebite prevention and appropriate first aid amongst communities in and around Vellore.
Over the past year, visits to villages and schools have reached close to 20,000 people training 2070 in snakebite prevention and first aid.
The Annual Snakebite Survivors’ Meet was held as a virtual session, for patients who had been admitted to CMC with snakebite over the past year. The meet is a forum for participants to share their personal experiences of dealing with the consequences of a snakebite with others who may have been similarly affected. It also provides an opportunity to reinforce snakebite prevention and appropriate first aid and importantly empower snakebite victims to be peer educators in their own communities.
“STING – 2023”, the postgraduate quiz on toxinology and snakebite mitigation was conducted to sensitize medical postgraduates to the field of toxinology. Seventeen teams from various medical colleges participated. The chief guest was Mr. Mugilan (wildlife conservationist). The first prize was awarded to Drs. Ajeethkumar M and Sittheswaren M (Govt. Chengalpattu Medical College), the second prize to Drs. Aadil Abdul Kareem and Srikanth E R (CMC Vellore) and the third prize to Drs. Namrata Mathew and John Roy Palathinkal (CMC Vellore).
The International Snakebite Awareness Day was commemorated by a programme which was graced by Dr. Joy Mammen (Associate Director), Dr. Rajesh I. (Medical Superintendent), Dr. Anila Chacko (Academic Officer), Mrs. Alice Sony (Nursing Superintendent), Dr. Vinitha Ravindran (Dean, College of Nursing), Mrs. Sophia Vijayananthan (HOD Medical Nursing) and Ms. Saramma Kuruvilla (Chaplain). The guests addressed the gathering, highlighting the need for various strategies to address the problem of snakebite envenoming – increasing community awareness, research to guide management strategies and improve the existing antivenom and measures to reduce the cost of snakebite treatment and make it more accessible.
The programme also saw the launch of the Poison Control Centre’s new website (www.poisoncontrol-cmcvellore.org) that provides information on its activities and services. A series of stalls were organized to educate the public on snakebite prevention and appropriate first aid. Hands-on demonstration of limb immobilization, interactive games, and the screening of videos in the regional languages were the methods used to create awareness.
It is hoped that these activities would play a role in creating awareness regarding snakes and snakebite prevention and appropriate first aid among the public and the medical community and be a step towards mitigating snakebite related deaths and disability in the country.