Charles Campbell Toxinology Centre

CEO defends antivenom charge

This comes after a recent post on social media about Charles Campbell Toxinology Centre condemning the decision by PMGH management to charge snakebite patients a K15000 fee for antivenom.

CEO Dr Umesh Gupta said the board, management, doctors and nurses of the Port Moresby General Hospital will not let any patient die for lack of funds.

Dr Gupta said it is completely false, libel and malicious to state that Port Moresby General Hospital is going to charge from those with no financial means.

Research group criticises PMGH’s fee

Port Moresby General Hospital is charging K15,000 for snake antivenom, which has not gone down well with the Charles Campbell Toxinology Centre. The fees were circulated via an internal memo by the PMGH management.

CCTC has criticised the move, making public their frustration on Facebook:

Researchers embark on disseminating information on snakebites

A group of researchers in PNG who aim to reduce the number of snakebite cases, which at the moment stands at an estimated 1000 per year, sees this as an important tool.

Charles Campbell Toxinology Centre is a collaboration of the University of Melbourne (UoM) and the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) with the primary focus to improve the treatment of snakebite in PNG though their research. 

What to do when you’re bitten by a snake

So if these snakes live on the ground and not in the trees, this means that 80 percent of the bites occur on the feet or ankle.

Thus, it is advisable to wear shoes or boots in order to prevent being vulnerable to these bites.

In its aim to reduce snakebites, Charles Campbell Toxinology Centre has been appealing to charities, foundation, shoe manufactures, shipping companies to assist by putting shoes on Papua New Guinean feet.

Remember: 80 percent of venomous snakebites occur below the knee.

PNG’s venomous snakes

The major burden of serious envenoming however, is caused by jut five species:

Papuan taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus), New Guinea death adders (Acanthophis laevis & Acanthophis rugosus), New Guinea death adders (Acanthophis laevis & Acanthophis rugosus), New Guinea brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) and Papuan blacksnake (Pseudechis papuanus).

Yearly, based on research and statistical analysis, Charles Campbell Toxinology Centre estimates 1000 deaths due to snakebite.

Parents warned of snakebites

The Charles Campbell Toxinology Centre based at Port Moresby General Hospital is urging parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of venomous snakes.

The Papuan black is the most dangerous and deadly snake in PNG, common throughout southern PNG.

The main snake species are Papuan taipan, New Guinea death adders, New Guinea brown snake and Papuan blacksnake. They’re usually only active by day.

Most are seen moving around between early to late-morning, and then again during the mid to late-afternoon.