In a surprising turn of events at the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Agashi, Virar (West) in Maharashtra, medical staff were left terrified after the discovery of two non-poisonous snakes inside a toilet. The incident occurred during a routine monthly meeting on Thursday afternoon, creating panic among nearly 40 medical staff members.
The chaotic situation unfolded when a nurse heard a persistent hissing sound emanating from the vicinity of a toilet. The following day, another snake was spotted slithering on the hospital premises, intensifying the fear among medical personnel.
The monthly meeting, attended by doctors, nurses, and health assistants, was disrupted as the staff dispersed in fear, causing a delay of almost two hours. The unsettling discovery continued on Friday when a sizable snake was observed inside a pipe on the PHC premises, eluding capture by a professional snake rescuer.
Medical staff members expressed concerns about the lack of cleanliness on the premises, attributing the snake presence to the negligence of the Gram Panchayat. The fear of snake bites has gripped the healthcare workers, affecting their ability to perform crucial tasks such as family planning operations and deliveries.
“We have been dealing with snake bite cases almost every day in Agashi. It is really scary to work in this atmosphere as we conduct family planning operations and deliveries at this PHC. If snakes continue to come due to filthy grounds, we can’t perform surgeries. We request the concerned department to provide us with a proper working atmosphere to treat the patients,” pleaded a doctor.
The ripple effect of the snake encounters disrupted the planned monthly meeting, with a nurse stating, “All the medical staff got scared after hearing the news. We had to delay the meeting called to plan for our monthly work.”
To address the situation, the panicked medical staff reached out to Swarandeep Wankhede, a private snake catcher from Agashi, and his team. After more than an hour of effort, they successfully rescued two non-poisonous dhaman snakes that were found hiding on the parapet of the toilet.
Despite their efforts, medical staff emphasized the urgent need for the Gram Panchayat to maintain cleanliness on the premises. They highlighted the messy condition of the area with overgrown grass and expressed concerns about the safety of the staff.
During a meeting with Zila Parishad officials, medical staff members conveyed their fears about snake encounters and the need for prompt action. The Sarpanch of Agashi, Vijay Patil, acknowledged the issue, stating, “The area of this PHC is really huge, and there is a khaki on the back side. Also, the old quarters have been demolished, and debris needs to be cleaned.”
Patil assured that steps were being taken to address the situation, mentioning, “I have also requested the municipal corporation to assist us in cleaning the premises. Hopefully, from Monday or Tuesday, the grass trimming procedure will start at the PHC. A few pipes, kept on the PHC premises, are meant for supplying water, and the project is underway.”
As the community grapples with the unexpected snake encounters, similar incidents are reported in neighboring areas. In Vasai, a snake created panic at a Vada Pav shop, disrupting the business for the owner. A local snake rescuer was called in to handle the situation, highlighting the growing concern about the presence of snakes in public spaces.
In conclusion, the snake infestation at Agashi PHC has raised serious concerns among medical staff, urging local authorities to take immediate action to ensure a safe and clean environment for healthcare workers and patients alike. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining hygiene in public spaces to prevent such alarming encounters.