Why are so many people still dying and suffering from snakebite?
Up to 5.4 million people are bitten by snakes a year, up to 2.7 million develop clinical illness, and 81,000-138,000 die preventable deaths. Why are so many people still dying and suffering from snakebite?
Snakebite envenoming affects the world’s poorest, usually those living in remote rural areas, with a direct correlation between snakebite deaths and poverty. It kills more people than any other disease on the Neglected Tropical Diseases list of World Health Organization (WHO).
One of the key issues is people’s access to antivenom for urgent treatment of snakebite. Production, price and demand all play a role in antivenom access.
Snakebites are a neglected health crisis. Urgent change is needed to ensure that fewer people have to face the consequences of it:
- Better access to quality antivenom
- Increased community awareness
- Investment in first aid and preventing bites in the first place.