Snakebite, the most neglected tropical disease remains the painful reality for the rural poor. In 2017, World Health Organization put Snakebite in the ‘Category A’ list of neglected tropical disease. This ‘disease’ is usually worse in remote areas with no proper health facilities in most of the tropical third world. Every year we are sacrificing around 125,000 human lives to snakebite globally, while the incidence of snakebite is more than five million per year. The fatality rate of snakebite is more than total global death cause by all microbial disease.
Providing proper guideline to the victim is one of the key ways to survive. The public awareness and first aid are considered to reduce the fatality rate in any case of snakebite. Research has reveled that a significant portion of snakebite victims lost their lives due to late approaching to proper medical facilities. The villagers are most likely to visit traditional healer as a first attempt after bite. This is a common scenario in Africa and Asia which is delaying the proper treatment and later it is difficult to save the life.
An initiative to public awareness and quick first aid service or advice may increase the survival rate. For this, we need a combined team work to assist those unfortunate poor. The aim of this initiative is to let the rural people about snake and snakebite. “Snakebite? straight to hospital” – might be the motto of this service. Remember, as quick as to hospital, as possible to save life.
(written by Md. Abdul Wahed Chowdhury, snakevenom researcher, wildmentor.org)