WHO unveils Strategy to tackle Global Snakebite “Emergency”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has unveiled a new global strategy to greatly reduce deaths and injuries from snakebites. WHO also warned that a scarcity of antivenoms could soon spark a “public health emergency”.
About WHO’s Global Strategy
- It seeks to achieve 50% reduction in mortality and disability caused by snakebite envenoming by 2030.
- Increasing the number of manufacturers by 25% and significantly boost production of quality antivenoms.
- Creating a global antivenom stockpile so as to ensure access to treatment like anti-venoms and ancillary medical care.
- Encouraging research on new treatments, diagnostics and health device breakthroughs.
- Integrating snakebite treatment and response into national health plans in affected countries and providing better training to health personnel and educating communities.
About Snakebite Envenoming
- Need: Every year it affects about 1.8–2.7 million people, claiming 81,000–1,38,000 lives and causing around 4,00,000 cases of permanent disability.
- Region Affected: In many tropical and subtropical countries Snake bite is a neglected public health issue. In 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) formally categorised “snakebite envenoming” as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). Most of Snake bites occur in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
- Consequences: Snake venom can cause- irreversible kidney failure, paralysis which can stop breathing, bleeding disorders that can lead to fatal haemorrhage, and tissue damage that can cause permanent disability and limb loss.
- Most deaths and serious fatalities due to snake bites are entirely preventable by making High quality snake antivenoms accessible. They are also included in WHO’s List of essential medicines.
Month: Current Affairs - May, 2019