Imphal Aug 24,
With their extensive deployment throughout the state, the Army and Assam Rifles units maintain a significant presence and outreach and have been aiding and assisting the local populace in all spheres of life to ameliorate their problems to the extent possible.
As part of the initiatives towards heath care, a large number of medical aid camps are conducted from time to time by the Army and Assam Rifles units in various parts of the state which provide medical succor to the ailing individuals. Of special significance has been the saving of lives of substantial number of snakebite victims. The uniformed medical teams go beyond their call of duty to treat locals and have acquired admiration in saving precious lives from snakebite cases. Over 70 lives have been saved from snakebites in this year alone.
Based on available data, maximum snakebites occur in the months from April to October. Especially with the outset of monsoon, there is a substantial increase in snakebite cases. This can be primarily attributed to the wet season forcing the snake out of their burrows as well as the search for prey in paddy fields and fish ponds.
For many locals, their primary occupation being farming and fishery requires them to work and move in paddy fields or fish ponds, which are also favourable habitats for most snakes in Manipur. Human settlements located on fringes of jungles witness comparatively higher in stances of snakebites. Such cases require a prompt medical treatment as a threat to life looms large.
The state medical setup is quite outstretched with modern medical facilities mostly available only at Imphal. Though there are hospitals at district levels and health centers in urban as well as in rural areas, however the shortage of requisite skillset and wherewithal to handle snakebite cases remains an issue of concern for the locals. The lack of medical practitioners especially in remote areas is further compounded by the deficiency of anti-snake venom (ASV) vials which restricts their ability to deal with such cases.
On the other hand medical teams of Assam Rifles and Army have a 100% immaculate record in saving snakebite victims. Easy accessibility, timely and humane approach as well as availability of anti-venom vials apart from the unflinching effort enable them to effectively deal with snake bite cases.
Due to extensive work of Army and Assam Rifles in this field, the medical teams have gained sufficient expertise in diagnosing and treating the cases with required promptness. Surety of anti-snake venom (ASV) vials and excellent track record has increased popularity in locals and has also led to referral of cases even by Primary Health Centers (PHCs) who now prefer to seek assistance from the nearest Army/ Assam Rifles camps rather than rushing the patients to private hospitals. The trust however comes from the dedication and success rate of the medical teams who strive hard to save each patient who comes up for treatment.
The good work carried out by the medical teams of Army and Assam Rifles units operating in Manipur mostly goes unnoticed as these selfless individuals treat this yeoman service as part of their duty. These medical practitioners derive great satisfaction by being able to contribute towards the greater aim of saving lives. It is indeed time that they get the due recognition for their devotion and selfless duty.
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