Assam Snake Doctor: Save Life in Rural Areas

This is the fascination of Dr. Slagit Gili, a government anesthesiologist who worked at a local hospital in Assam’s Shivasagar district, the true hero of Assam, and treated more than 1,200 snakebite victims from across the state. It’s a story. Known as the “Snakebite Doctor,” Dr. Gili has been treating victims of snakebite in the Assam region for over a decade, developing a snakebite ward in a local hospital, and developing a new module of snakebite treatment. Currently, the success rate is 100%.

Busy time at the Demonstration Community Health Center (CHC), a rural hospital in the Shivasagar district of Assam, about 400 kilometers east of Guwahati. 47-year-old Dr. Surajit Giri rushes into this rural hospital throughout Assam, a very special and unique ward that exists only in the snakebite room. A young patient has just arrived and he has already been given a life-saving drug by Dr. Gili’s First Reaction Team or a member of the FRT. Dr. Gili examined the patient and found that he was not at risk. This snakebite room has all life-saving medicines, equipment, and trained staff to treat snakebites. This team and room is the center of a unique snakebite treatment protocol developed and put into operation by Dr. Gili in 2018.

“In 2008, a woman died in front of us as a victim of a national bite. We did not inject anti-venom and did not know the proper treatment protocol or guidelines. We did not know. We introduced the patient to a higher center on the way to her death. We were impressed and decided to tackle this challenge of saving the patient who was bitten by a snake, “Dr. Gilli told Bibarud.

Since then, to date, Dr. Gili and his team have treated 760 snakebite patients with CHC, with no deaths and a 100% success rate.

Since the beginning of his career, he has treated more than 1,200 snakebite patients. In 2021 alone, Dr. Gili treated 464 patients with CHC. All of this is part of the doctor’s voluntary mission to help poor people receive treatment for snakebites in public hospitals without the use of ICUs or expensive medicines.

“In India, antitoxins are made from large snakes such as cobras, crates, Russell vipers, and short scale vipers. However, Russell vipers and short scale vipers do not exist in Asam, but pits without antitoxins. There is a huge presence of vipers. So we devised a new protocol, established this snake bite chamber and formed the VenomResponse Team or VRT and FRT. We go to vulnerable communities and people about being bitten by snakes. And created a Venom response team from these people, “added Dr. Gili.