Rabat - The mortality rate associated with scorpion stings in Morocco has decreased from 1.5 percent to 0.2 percent of victims, according to Health Minister Houcine El Ouardi.
Rabat – The mortality rate associated with scorpion stings in Morocco has decreased from 1.5 percent to 0.2 percent of victims, according to Health Minister Houcine El Ouardi.
The Minister provided the figures during the launch ceremony of the official campaign against venom-related deaths on Friday.
The National Poison Control and Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPCPC) has recorded some 30,000 cases of scorpion stings in Morocco annually for the past few years. The bites have shown to be significantly more common in rural areas and the areas surrounding Marrakesh, the minister said.
Ouardi said the new campaign would further reduce the number of scorpion sting-related deaths in the kingdom, of which 65 had been reported in 2012 and 13 in the first half of 2013.
The new strategy will allow the “standardization of patient care, the training of medics and paramedics, and the implementation of a health education program,” the minister said, according to Huffpost Maroc.
The director of health of the Marrakesh-Safi region, Khalid Zenjjari, said a more rigorous approach would be carried out to combat the scourge in the areas under his jurisdiction, as nearly 8,000 cases of scorpion stings – the highest rate in the country – are reported there every year. The incidents are known to cluster around the municipalities of Rhamna, Kelaât Sraghna, Essaouira and Chichester.
The foundation of this strategy will also consider “the use of insecticides…and the implementation of an IT system to track the development of the various indicators of disease, “said the NPCPC director, Rachida Soulaymani Bencheikh.
Ouardi’s department has launched similar campaigns in the past, which have been relatively successful. In 2013, at the launch of another anti-venom initiative, the minister said a previous project “against venomous animals and insects” decreased the number of deaths related to snake and scorpion bites from 400 annually to just 50 over the five years before his speech.