Snakebite: How a public health emergency slithered under the radar

An estimated five million people around the world are bitten by venomous snakes every year. One in ten will die or be left with permanent consequences. Snakebite kills as many as 100,000 people and leads to disability and disfiguration for some 400,000 victims globally each year. 

Most of the victims come from remote, rural areas. With no health facilities nearby, and unable to afford expensive treatment, many either forego treatment completely or turn to traditional healers. 

In sub-Saharan Africa alone, an estimated 30,000 people die per year from snakebite, while an estimated 8,000 people across Africa have amputations each year after being bitten by venomous snakes. However, thought to be underreported as few victims reach health facilities.

Briefing Paper Snakebite 070915 pdf — 791.39 KB

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