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Snakebites in Africa are underestimated for its seriousness

The World Health Organization and Africa government has ignored the problem of snakebites. It can bring to death, and even if service, victims have to amputate their limbs or leave permanent disability.

** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **A timber rattlesnake sits coiled on section of a trail in Mountaintown, Ga., Wednesday, May 23, 2007. ATVs and other off-road vehicles had almost unfettered access to federal lands until 1972, when President Nixon issued an executive order that required agency heads to develop regulations. President Carter expanded it five years later to allow agencies to ban ATVs and other off-road vehicles on trails if they're damaging the forests. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **A timber rattlesnake sits coiled on section of a trail in Mountaintown, Ga., Wednesday, May 23, 2007. ATVs and other off-road vehicles had almost unfettered access to federal lands until 1972, when President Nixon issued an executive order that required agency heads to develop regulations. President Carter expanded it five years later to allow agencies to ban ATVs and other off-road vehicles on trails if they’re damaging the forests. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The World Health Organization stated that 138,000 people die from snakebite every year and most of them are in developing countries. 400,000 people who survive in snakebites have to amputate limbs and carry permanent disabilities. Actually, snakebites cause more death than other “neglected tropical diseases” listed by the WHO such as rabies, dengue fever and leprosy.  Due to the lack of fund in research investment, snakebites has ignored in the underleveraged nations.

Sub-Saharan Africa faces a serious problem in the snakebites. Experts believe that its death toll may be larger than 50,000 people, which is over a double than WHO’s estimation of 20,000. Many victims did not treat properly due to lack of money, distrust in western medicine and inexperience of medical health staff in dealing with snakebites.

Some organizations have held programs to provide prevention and control in snakebites in 2019. These programs aim to decrease 50 percent of the number of yearly deaths and cases of disability-related to it by 2030. It is estimated that around $140 million is required.

A Guinean biologist and research director at the Institute for Applied Biological Research Baldé Mamadou Cellou hopes to raise the awareness in snakebites to health ministers in Africa. Running a disease research center with a snake clinic, he realizes how common and serious the problem is.

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