Need for anti-venom drugs in rural areas

Friday, 26 May 2023

Snakebite causes over 6,000 deaths, and some 700,000 people get bitten by snakes annually in Bangladesh, according to World Health Organization statistics. This is the second biggest cause of deaths in the country during the monsoon when snakes slither out of their habitats and take shelter in the houses of people. Those who survive the venomous snakebite can suffer from various complications including paralysis and psychological disorders. Those affected live mostly in the rural areas and often rely on agricultural activities for their income. These activities put them at risk of snakebite for working in areas infested by venomous snakes.
Treatment for snakebite victims in village settings is greatly delayed, because existing anti-venom therapies are mainly provided in district headquarters only. As snakebite treatment is not available in villages, many people take help from local quacks who use kabiraji (herbal) medicine. As a result, the condition of these victims deteriorates further. Recently a minor boy in Patuakhali and a housewife in Moulvibazar died following snake bites. The number of deaths from snakebite is increasing. In this situation, we urge the authorities concerned, especially the WHO's Bangladesh representatives, to launch a collaborative programme with the government for ensuring treatment of snakebite at the rural level.
Ashikujaman Syed,
Research Assistant,
Bioinformatics Research Lab,
Center for Research Innovation and Development (CRID),
[email protected]