Second International Snakebite Awareness Day Celebrations
The 2nd International Snakebite Awareness Day was celebrated by the Poisons Information Centre & Clinical Toxicology Unit, Department of Medicine Unit-I on 19th September 2019. The department had organized activities for the entire month, which aimed at creating awareness regarding snakebite prevention and appropriate first aid care amongst communities in and around Vellore. The activities included school visits by a dedicated team of nurses and doctors from the department as well as the “Snakebite Survivors’ Meet” which took place on 14th September 2019. The team was able to reach out to more than six hundred school children in Vellore and introduce them to concepts of safety and snakebite prevention. There were around five hundred participants who benefitted from these events.
The inaugural program on 19th September commenced with an opening prayer followed by a welcome address by Dr. Alice Mathuram, Professor and Head, Medicine Unit-I. Nursing staff and doctors who participated in the school visits and survivors’ meet were felicitated by the Nursing Superintendent. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Dr. Vatsala Sadan, Dean, of the College of Nursing who was introduced and welcomed by Dr. Shirley David, Professor, and Head, Medical Surgical Nursing. The Chief Guest spoke on the need to implement the WHO Global Strategy on Snakebite Envenoming and to further expand community education on snakebite prevention and first-aid. Following this, Dr. J.V. Peter, Director, Dr. Prasad Mathews, Medical Superintendent, and Dr. Premila Lee, Nursing Superintendent addressed the gathering. The vote of thanks was proposed by Sr. Meenakshi. It is hoped that this event plays an important role in increasing community awareness of snakes, snakebite prevention, and appropriate first aid care in the days to come.