Poisonous snake bites resulting in death or amputation are a great problem in Chad. The problem is often dwarfed by the greater needs of potable water, health care and food production. But it is never the less a serious problem in Dono-Manga.
Dono-Manga is home to the Puff Adder (pictured at the left), Boomslang, West African Carpet Viper, two types of Cobra and the deadly Black Mamba. Bites from Cobras and Mambas can be deadly because their venom can cause paralysis of the muscles needed to breath, leading to death from lack of Oxygen within six hours. The West African Carpet Viper can cause hemorrhaging leading to death. While not all venomous bites cause death, many do result in amputations and the younger the victim, the greater the likelihood of death.
The inability to reach medical care is one of the biggest issues in the treatment of venomous snake bites. This was made crystal clear last week when the son of one of our key men in Dono-Manga was bitten by a poisonous snake. We were only able to treat symptoms at our Health Center because we did not have a refrigerator required to store the anti-venom. Local officials were later encouraged to drive him to the nearest hospital and he survived. But many don’t survive or suffer lifelong handicaps.
I am thrilled to tell you that we will soon have a new solar powered refrigerator installed at the Jordan Health Center in Dono-Manga. Thanks to the generosity of a young couple who has had a heart for our work for some time now the $2,100.00 to purchase this life saving refrigerator will soon be on its way.
The refrigerator will do much more than store anti-venom. Many medications we could not previously store will now be on hand for immunizations and treatment of other illnesses. We praise God for those with willing and able hearts, who have been blessed by God who in turn become a blessing to others. Maybe one of the blessings of heaven will be God showing those who give in such a way how many lives they saved and the good their gift accomplished.