Snake-bitten girl dies, SLA checking delayed treatment

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 11:33 GMT]
A 13-year-old girl, bitten by a poisonous snake Tuesday early morning around 3:00 a.m., died on her way to hospital during the curfew-hours as there was no ambulance available to transport her to the hospital and the three wheeler which brought her to Jaffna Teaching Hospital from Kopay to Jaffna, via Rasa Veethi, was subjected to check and interrogation in every check point and road block by soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). The father of the girl said she breathed last in his hands when the three-wheeler reached Jaffna hopital with 3 hour delay.

The victim, Selvaranee Sivathas, 13, of Urumpirai South of Kopay in Jaffna district died Tuesday morning due to snake bite because of delay in providing urgent medical attention to her.

The girl, bitten by a poisonous snake, was rushed to the Kopay government dispensary in the area. As there was no medical officer or the driver of the ambulance in the dispensary to transport the patient to Jaffna Hospital, parents hired the same three-wheeler to take her to Jaffna hospital.

On their way, the SLA soldiers stopped the three-wheeler at every check point and road block and thoroughly searched the three-wheeler for "prohibited materials."

It took more than three hours for the three-wheeler to reach the Jaffna hospital.

Medical authorities pronounced the girl dead when she was taken inside the hospital.

Relatives of the girl said they could have avoided checking by army personnel each and every checkpoint if the girl had been taken in an ambulance.

There is no proper ambulance service between the Jaffna Teaching Hospital and other government dispensaries scattered in the district to bring patients for urgent medical attention in the Jaffna Teaching Hospital during curfew hours, civil society leaders complained.


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