The Banteay Meanchey provincial health department renews its call for residents living in flood-affected areas to be more vigilant about health and safety after 44 villagers were bitten by snakes in September alone.

Department director Le Chan Sangvat told The Post on October 2 that during the flood season, the rate of snake bites rises alarmingly.

From January through September, he said referral hospitals in the province’s nine town and districts treated 400 victims of snake bites, 10 per cent of them were transported from neighbouring Oddar Meanchey province.

He noted that none of the 44 villagers died as the medical teams treated them in time.

“Snake bites are still a concern, even though we now have enough medicine that is very effective for treatment,” he said, suggesting that hospitals and health centres need to stock more medicine for snake bite treatment.

“One victim needs at least two bottles of snake anti-venom. For severe cases, up to around 10 or 11 bottles can be used and each bottle costs nearly $500,” he said.

According to Chan Sangvat, during the floods, the snakes’ dens are also completely inundated with water, forcing them to flee to dry ground such as in villagers’ homes, barns or trees.

Last week, the Ministry of Health provided an additional 150 bottles of snake anti-venom to the Banteay Meanchey provincial health department to be distributed to referral hospitals for snake bite treatment.