KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 – The Health Ministry has given its assurance that antivenom is available at all government hospitals in the country. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the antivenom or poisonous snake antidote was usually supplied to all government hospitals and if stocks had depleted at one hospital, the antivenom could be obtained from the nearest one.
He said so far, the supply of antivenom is adequate and the ministry will increase it if necessary. He told this in a press conference after opening the Asia Dengue Conference 2016 here, Saturday. Dr Subramaniam was commenting on a report in a local daily on Friday which alleged that supply of antivenom could only be obtained at a government hospital in Kajang and the antidote had a very short expiry date.
The report was carried out following the death of a Standard One pupil who was bitten by a poisonous snake when playing in a garden in front of the her class at Sekolah Kebangsaan Dato’ Hashim 1, Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan on April 19. Meanwhile, at the same press conference, Dr Subramaniam said the total number of fatalities due to dengue fever fell to 94 from January to April 22 this year as compared to 119 deaths during the same period last year.
Dr Subramaniam said this is positive sign from the Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) on Management of Dengue which came into force in September last year. He said the ministry would continue to work hard to ensure the number of dengue fatalities continued to fall. Also present were Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Health deputy director-general (Medical) Datuk Dr S. Jeyaindran and Health deputy director-general (Public Health) Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim.