The experts of the University of Melbourne have developed a new World Health Organization (WHO)-led strategy to halve the impact of snakebite.
This strategy has been published in the latest PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases paper on February 21st, 2019.
WHO aims to halve the impact of snakebite and to implement this aim, a strategy has taken the form. It has been listed as the first global plan to reduce the heavy socio-economic and health cost due to snakebites.
The major aim of this strategy is to minimize the deaths as well as disability due to snakebite. This strategy aims to reduce this burden by 50 percent by the year 2030.
Other aims under this strategy are to ensure effective and affordable treatment along with empowering the communities to take preventive actions. It also intends to strengthen the health systems and develop the global union to mobilize resources.
This all can be achieved through a comprehensive strategy including the annual three million (30 lakh) snakebite treatments.
David Williams, a key developer of this strategy said, “WHO’s snakebite envenoming road map, which will be officially launched in Geneva on 23 May, presents the first truly global strategy developed to reduce the tremendous burden of human suffering caused by snake bites.”
Dr. Williams further said, “The plan calls for snakebite envenoming to be incorporated within national and regional health plans and aligned with global commitments to achieving Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
It has been reported that snakebite affects about 5.4 million (54 lakh) people globally every year. It kills up to 138,000 people and almost 400,000 suffer from physical and psychological disabilities due to snakebite.
In India, 2.8 million (28 lakh) people gets affected due to snakebite each year. This causes deaths of approximately 46,000 people. Africa experience estimated deaths of 32,000 people due to snakebite.
Dr. Williams has affirmed that to tackle this challenge, global coordination is required. It can be easily achieved by combining technical, political and financial support from neighboring countries. To combat this challenge, philanthropists and development partners should join hands.
To improve the health of the world’s population, the global Working Group of a team of 28 experts proposed some strategy to confront the issue. The matter of all affected countries has been raised emphasizing on integrating the efforts.
The successful implementation of this road map by WHO is entirely dependent upon the funding expected to be received from the partner countries, development partners and donors. It has been said that investment in this work can benefit the snakebite victims leading to improve the health systems.