SSSSSSNAKES-India: National Snakebite Survey : Survey of Snake Species, Syndromes, Snake-bite outcomes, and anti-Snake venom requirements in Indian Sub-continent

“We need to act now to deal effectively with this problem, which causes severe disability, brings misery to families and which kills thousands of people.”

—Lorenzo Savioli, WHO Director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases

And this is the reason that  I have come down to Vellore just a day after my marriage for the workshop for finalizing the protocol of SSSSSSNAKES-India.(National Snakebite Survey : Survey of Snake Species, Syndromes, Snake-bite outcomes, and anti-Snake venom requirements in India .)

Officially the study is being titled as “A National survey of Snake bites in India (venomous and non-venomous): syndrome-snake species correlations, outcomes and ASV dose requirements for the Indian Sub-continent” and once the protocol is finalised that is expected to run across the nations in more than about 15 centres across the nation.

The protocol development workshop is being jointly organised by the Toxicology Special Interest group and the South Asian Cochrane Network and Centre. The two day workshop being attended by international experts from diverse background . Clinicians, proteomics experts . community physicians, herpetologists, wildlife conservationists , public health professionals , anti-snake venom  manufacturers – the workshop is being attended by all . It aims to understand and document the snake bite management practise in each hospital, training and method of collection, storage and identification of dead snakes and hence finalise the protocol for this national study.  It will also explore the potential for the use of venom detection tests in the study.Continue reading “SSSSSSNAKES-India: National Snakebite Survey : Survey of Snake Species, Syndromes, Snake-bite outcomes, and anti-Snake venom requirements in Indian Sub-continent”

Snakebite: a forgotten problem

When Alexander the Great invaded India in 327-325 BC he was said to be impressed by the arrow heads poisoned with lethal venom from the Russell viper and the advanced clinical acumen of Indian doctors in managing snakebite.1 In 2009 the World Health Organization added snakebite to its list of neglected tropical diseases, hoping to reduce its burden on so many marginalised populations.

“We need to act now to deal effectively with this problem, which causes severe disability, brings misery to families, and which kills thousands of people,” said Lorenzo Savioli, director of the department of control of neglected tropical diseases at WHO.2 However, policy makers, clinicians, and the general public have largely ignored the snakebite problem, even though it kills thousands of people each year and causes social, economic, and personal misery to many more.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, the union health and family welfare minister of the government of India, told the Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of parliament, in April 2012 that only 1440 people had died from snakebite in India in 2011.3 WHO, however, predicts as many as 1 841 000 envenomings and 94 000 deaths globally, with India having the most of any country, with an estimated 81 000 envenomings and 11 000 deaths a year.2 The Million Death Study4 estimated some 45 900 deaths from snakebite in India in 2005, about the same number as those from HIV/AIDS.5

Read the full article by Dr. Soumyadeep B at the British Medical Journal

Snake-bite deaths in West Bengal

The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, informed the Lok Sabha in April 2012 that there had been a total of 1440 deaths due to snake-bites in India in 2011. He added that as many as 380 of these cases were from West Bengal, 296 from Odisha and 258 from Andhra Pradesh…‘In a nationwide study by Mohapatra et al., it is stated that there are 45 900 snake-bite deaths every year all over the country. The differencesContinue reading “Snake-bite deaths in West Bengal”