In Mohmand, parents protest after girl dies due to lack of anti-venom

Published: August 21, 2019
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

SHABQADAR: Parents of a six-year-old Mohmand native, who died from a suspected snake bite, are protesting against doctors at the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital (THQ) in Shabqadar for failing to adequately treat the girl and for lacking ant-venom, leading to her death.

Doctors at the hospital, however, refuted claims of the parents, stating that they provided all available treatment.

The girl, Lubaina, was the daughter of Maulvi Khushal from the Hafeez Korona area of Mohmand, said the girl’s uncle Khadim Shah.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Shah said that late on Sunday evening, when they were sleeping, Lubaina woke up crying, claiming that her leg was hurting. The girl’s mother, who was sleeping next to the child, first thought that an insect had bitten her and consoled the child to go back to sleep. When the pain increased, Shah said they rushed her to the Shabqadar THQ.

There, Shah said the doctors could not stabilise Lubaina’s condition and ultimately asked the family to take her to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) in Peshawar with the duty doctor allegedly telling the family that they did not have any anti-venom.

However, Lubaina succumbed to her injuries before reaching Peshawar. This prompted the family to protest against the doctors and the health facility.

“Although the Ekka Ghund Rural Health Centre is located near our home, we know the hospital has no facilities in it, which is why we prefer to go to Shabqadar,” Shah said, adding that the THQ also lacked facilities to treat snakebites.

When asked, Shabqadar THQ Medical Superintendent Dr Zahirullah Khan confirmed that the girl was brought to the hospital. Refuting allegations levelled by the family, he told The Express Tribune that the girl was brought to the hospital at around 2:30am on Monday morning in critical condition and the doctors on duty provided all necessary treatment to her.

Later, he said, the girl was referred to Peshawar in the hospital ambulance.

He, however, admitted that the hospital lacked anti-venom.

“You need specialised tests to detect which kind of insect or snake has bitten the patient,” Dr Zahirullah explained, adding that the parents of the girl did not know whether an insect or a snake had bitten the girl.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2019.

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