anti venom shortage in zimbabwe
Pic: News dzeZimbabwe

Winter is over, and you know, for snakes, it’s time for them to explore again.

Anti-venom is in short supply across the whole country, and snake bites are pretty much increasing. Snakes are coming out of hibernation as we shift away from the winter season. Countrywide, there were 24 cases of snake bites reported in one week.

However, no deaths were recorded from the 24 bites, according to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.

Mpilo Central Hospital Clinical Director Dr. Solwayo Ngwenya said the anti-venom is in short supply since it is an imported drug. He said that it is in short supply because of the unavailability of foreign currency.

This is where we get worried. While hospitals such as Mpilo have not experienced a sharp increase of the snake bites, the season we are getting into will probably cause a change in this. The government now needs to set their priorities straight so that foreign currency is availed for the procurement of anti-venom. More people are going to be victims of snake bites and anti-venom must be readily available. That way, lives will be saved.

Government has been making the issue of anti-venom one of the first priorities as regards health in Zimbabwe but the longer there is a shortage because of little foreign currency, the more people are likely to lose their lives due to snake bites.

So, we are worried. Because snake bites are deadly. And anti-venom must always be there.

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