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Jakarta Post

Health authorities can take swift action against snakebite

  • Poonam Khetrapal Singh

Bangkok   /   Sat, June 15 2019   /  01:29 am

Snakebite is a serious cause of disability and death in mostly poor, rural and hard-to-reach communities worldwide. Though just 250 of 3,000-odd species of snakes are medically important, their impact can be devastating: Across the globe, snakebite envenoming is reported to cause the death of up to 138,000 people annually, while up to three times that number are estimated to suffer amputation, physical or psychological disability.

The need to take action is clear, and core to the principle of leaving no one behind.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Southeast Asia Region is particularly affected. Owing to the region’s sheer number of people (around 1.8 billion, or a little over a quarter of the world’s population), its many farming communities and the presence of a large number of venomous snakes, communities region-wide have long been vulnerable, with snakebite enveno...