A Plan to Reduce Snakebite Envenomations by 2030
For millions of people around the world, the risk of snakebite is a concern as they complete daily activities. Snakebite envenoming is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that affects people on every continent. Globally, snakebite envenoming causes about 81,000- 138,000 deaths each year. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed a strategy to prevent and reduce snakebite envenomations by 2030. The goal of this initiative is to limit the number of disabilities and deaths that can result from a snakebite by 50%. The pandemic derailed the mission slightly, as priorities shifted, but WHO trying to get back on track.
In order to achieve their objective, the WHO has developed a comprehensive strategy. This strategy includes strengthening health systems, involving communities, utilizing resources to their fullest extent, and building meaningful partnerships. Effective and affordable treatment by healthcare professionals will play a big factor in achieving their goal, and will allow patients return to healthy lives after being treated. Part of this includes the availability and affordability of antivenoms to treat snakebite envenomations, which involves strengthening supply chains and supporting local production. Increased education among communities can be completed successfully through a variety of methods. Organizing workshops and training sessions that focus on snakebite prevention, identification of venomous species, and response techniques can be tailored for a variety of audiences with experts in the field. Developing educational programs in schools with engaging activities on snake awareness is beneficial for students even at a young age. A combination of all initiatives with the support of communities worldwide will help the WHO to reach their goal.
WHO SNAKEBITE INFORMATION VIDEO
The Global Burden of Snakebite: A Literature Analysis and Modelling Based on Regional Estimates of Envenoming and Deaths
Kasturiratne, A., Wickremasinghe, A. R., de Silva, N., Gunawardena, N. K., Pathmeswaran, A., Premaratna, R., Savioli, L., Lalloo, D. G., & de Silva, H. J. (2008). The global burden of snakebite: a literature analysis and modelling based on regional estimates of envenoming and deaths. PLoS medicine, 5(11), e218. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050218
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Adaptation Environmental Team: Bryon, Joe, and Kelly