Two children died due to snakebites on Monday at a tribal school in Nandurbar. The children were first rushed to a Roshmal-based primary health centre, which had no doctor, and then to Dhadgaon Rural hospital, about 30 km away, where they were declared dead.
Rohit Padvi and Pravin Vasawe, both studying in class IV, had complained of abdomen pain during the wee hours of Monday. One of the Jeevanshala (tribal school) teachers took Pravin on his motorbike, as due to lack of pakka roads or mobile network, the ambulance could not reach them. The closest PHC had no doctor to administer anti-snake venom.
The teacher, Mangu Pawara, then took the boy to a rural hospital, where the doctors declared the minor brought dead. The second boy, Rohit, had no mode of transportation.After waiting for help, the teachers mounted him in a cloth tied to two bamboo sticks and carried him till the main road, which was 15 minutes away. He was then taken to the hospital in an ambulance, but died before he could reach.
Teachers said both boys were crying through the night, but never mentioned a snake bite. Post-mortem revealed both boys to have snake venom in their bodies. Pravin was found to have been bitten behind his ear, and Rohit on his hand.
Dr Shivaji Pawar, medical officer at Roshmal PHC, said, “The roads here are in poor condition and transportation becomes a problem. Today, we had to walk to the PHC in heavy rain.” He said that while the PHC has anti-snake venom, the second doctor has gone away for training in Nashik, due to which no one is available during the night to handle emergency cases. Pawar works during the day.
“In this case, it seems the child either suffered neurotoxicity or haemotoxicity,” he said. Locals said it had been raining in Nandurbar since Sunday, which may have forced snakes out of their burrows.