GENEVA, May 24– The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a strategy for the prevention and control of snakebite envenoming on Thursday, vowing to reduce global mortality and disability from snakebite envenoming by 50 percent before 2030.
The core of the strategy is for all patients to have better overall care so that the numbers of deaths and cases of disability are reduced by 50 percent before 2030.
To achieve that goal, priorities will be given to four strategic objectives: empowering and engaging communities through education, training and facilitation; ensuring safe, effective treatment by creating a revolving stockpile of antivenoms proven to be effective; strengthening health systems by integrating more effective prevention, treatment and management of snakebite envenoming into national health systems; and increasing partnerships, coordination and resources, according to the WHO.
As the strategy is based on existing resources, skills and experience while looking ahead to next-generation solutions, it also eyes to strengthen national health systems to provide solutions at community level.
Implementation of those four objectives are divided into three phases between 2019 and 2030, which are set to cost 8.96 million, 45.44 million and 82.36 million U.S. dollars respectively.
According to the WHO, snakebite envenoming is a neglected tropical disease that is responsible for enormous suffering, disability and premature death on every continent. Worldwide over 5.8 billion people are at risk of encountering a venomous snake; almost 7,400 people are bitten by snakes every day, causing 220 to 380 deaths, which adds up to about 2.7 million cases of envenoming and 81,000 to 138,000 deaths a year. – XINHUA