Getting bitten by a poisonous snake is not just an individual injury — rather it is now recognized as a global health hazard. The World Health Organization estimates that between 80,000 and 136,000 people die from snakebite in each year. To put that in perspective, that is more than the number of people who died from Meningitis and within the range of the number of people who died from Measles.
Getting bitten by a poisonous snake, or “snakebite envenoming,” is now included in the WHO’s list of Neglected Tropical Disease
On the line with me is one of the world’s leading experts on Snakebite, Dr. Gabriel Alcoba. He is a pediatrician who has treated snakebite as a doctor with MSF, Doctors Without Borders. He is also a public health expert who works with the Geneva University hospitals.
This episode provides a very good introduction to snakebite as a global health hazard. Dr. Alcoba explains the link between poverty and injury and death from snakebite and why the pharmaceutical industry has been somewhat slow to develop proper anti-venoms.
If you have 20 minutes and want to learn how snakebite affects people around the world, have a listen