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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai Snake bite lack of hospital in Aarey claims womans life

Mumbai: Snake bite, lack of hospital in Aarey claims woman’s life

Updated on: 15 June,2024 07:08 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Ranjeet Jadhav | ranjeet.jadhav@mid-day.com

Victim, a 26-year-old mother of a toddler, died on the way to a civic hospital in Vile Parle

Mumbai: Snake bite, lack of hospital in Aarey claims woman’s life

Komal Gadekar Patekar, the snake bite victim

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Early Wednesday morning, a 26-year-old woman died from a snake bite in Aarey Milk Colony. The event has amplified the longstanding demand by local residents for a well-equipped government hospital to ensure timely medical treatment during emergencies.


The recent incident occurred around 2.30 am when the woman identified as Komal Gadekar Patekar, her husband and their one-year-old daughter were asleep at home. The woman's father-in-law said, “My daughter-in-law screamed and told us about being bitten by the snake on her leg. We saw the snake was still in the room.”


Desperate for medical help, the family sought assistance from a neighbour with an auto-rickshaw and headed to SevenHills Hospital, believing it would have the necessary facilities. However the family alleged that upon arrival, doctors informed them that the hospital did not have anti-snake venom and advised them to go to the BMC-run R N Cooper Hospital.


The woman's condition deteriorated en route to Cooper Hospital. “She started gasping for air on the way,” the father-in-law said. Despite their efforts, upon arrival at about 3.30 am, doctors declared the woman dead. A post-mortem examination was later carried out. "Her one-year-old daughter is now without a mother," said the father-in-law.

Residents of Aarey Milk Colony have reiterated their urgent plea for a government hospital in the area to prevent such tragedies in the future, highlighting the critical need for accessible and immediate medical care. Aarey resident and wildlife enthusiast Kaushalendra Dubey emphasized the urgent need for a fully-equipped hospital in the Aarey Milk Colony. “It's crucial that we have a facility here to provide immediate treatment for snake bites, human-animal conflicts, and other emergencies. If a hospital with necessary resources such as anti-snake venom had been available, the woman could have received prompt care and her life might have been saved.”

The Aarey Milk Colony that is spread over 12 sq km has 28 tribal hamlets with over 8,000 tribal voters, who have been staying there for more than 100 years. Mid-day has repeatedly highlighted the lack of medical facilities in Aarey Milk Colony, a critical issue that leaves tribal and other residents without adequate support during medical emergencies.

According to a study published in a scientific journal, there were 1.2 million snakebite deaths in India during the 20-year period 2000 to 2019, an average of 58,000 per year. Around 70 per cent of these occurred in limited low altitude, rural areas of eight states - Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana), Rajasthan and Gujarat. Half of all deaths occurred during the monsoon period from June to September. Available data indicated that most envenomations were due to Russell’s vipers followed by kraits and cobras.

Snake bites at Aarey

2024 Earlier this year a resident survived a snake bite
2023 In September, a 16-year-old boy survived a snake bite
2017 On July 12, Yashodha Kadu, 20, died after she was bitten by a spectacled cobra while she was asleep at Jivachapada, Aarey Milk Colony
2017 In October, a six-year-old boy died after being bitten by a snake at Aarey’s tribal hamlet Vanichapada at Unit 5

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