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Snakebite Now A Notifiable Disease In Karnataka

Karnataka’s Health Department has directed all private and government hospitals as well as medical institutes to register all the cases of snakebites

Snakebite Now A Notifiable Disease In Karnataka
For any intervention to prevent and treat snakebite successfully, data of its prevalence is the first step

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has made snakebite a notifiable disease in the state across all health facilities on the Integrated Health Information Platform, an official order released on Monday (February 19) said. According to an official notification dated February 12, Karnataka’s Health Department has directed all private and government hospitals as well as medical institutes to register all the cases of snakebites — be it in-patients, out-patients and death cases on the Integrated health Information Platform.

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This means that any snakebite case in the state presented to a private or government hospital, must be reported under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program of the state government. The move comes in the wake of increased incidents of snakebite in Karnataka. As per a report and data from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, in 2023 alone (between January and October) the state recorded 5,316 snakebites. Welcoming the move, Humane Society International (HSI) India said it commends the government’s surveillance measures to reduce the burden of snakebite and celebrates the landmark decision of Karnataka becoming the first state in India to declare snakebite a notifiable disease.

For any intervention to prevent and treat snakebite successfully, data of its prevalence is the first step. By mandating reporting of this disease, the government has ensured that data on a larger volume of snakebite cases will be captured to begin with, it said in a statement. Shubhra Sotie, wildlife research and policy specialist at HSI India said,

This is an important step in ensuring a high degree of surveillance, and we applaud the state government for being the first in the country to do this. This, coupled with other interventions, will go a long way in meaningfully addressing snakebites, reducing the animosity that exists between humans and snakes and eventually lead to fewer mortality in both.

Sumanth Bindumadhav, director of wildlife protection at HSI India, said:

This move by the Karnataka government steps up surveillance at the state level to better inform policy decisions on prevention, treatment and management of snakebites in the state. This could be the start of a snowball effect that leads to other states following suit.

Also Read: How Is India Fighting Diseases Like Kala Azar, Dengue And Elephantiasis?

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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