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Lack of Anti Venom in PNG a concern

A week- long training program on snake bites   in Port Moresby has revealed that Papua New Guinea currently has  only 250 to 300 vials of anti-venom  to treat all snakebite cases country-wide. This means for the country's entire population of over 8 million people, there is only 20 per cent of the entire anti-venom needed to treat snakebite victims.

Speaking at the training course, Dr David Williams from the Charles Campbell Toxinology Centre said the highest number of snakebites occur in the Nations capital and Central Province.

"Most of that gets used in Port Moresby because we treat 350 to 400 patients a year just from Central province and NCD," Dr Williams said.

"That is a really significant problem and if they don’t get anti-venom then many of those patients end up getting put into intensive care and they can be there for a week or two weeks, even longer in some cases and that ultimately costs a lot more money than it would have to have given them the anti venom in the first place.

"We visit health centers and collect numbers and there are about 1600 people a year who need anti-venom," Dr Williams said.

NBC News/ PNG Today
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