Snake bites kill over 7,500 people every year

We must devise effective preventive measures and treatment strategies

Published : 10 Aug 2023 07:29 PM

Chuadanga General Hospital has provided treatment to 48 patients bitten by venomous snakes in the last one month. Of them four people died while going under treatment. Besides, 20 people injured by venomous snake bites also sought treatment to three other Upazila Health Complexes of the district.

Snakebites in our country are common, and so are misconceptions that lead many people to go for dubious cures, such as spraying the bite with gasoline, rather than seeking medical treatment. Around 4.03 lakh people are bitten by snakes every year in the country, and 7,511 of them die of the injury, says a government study.

One-fourth of snakebite incidents in the country involve venomous snakes, which causes physical disabilities in 10.6 percent of the cases and mental disabilities in 1.9 percent. Males are 1.4 times more likely to be bitten by a snake than females, and rural areas account for 95 percent of snake bite victims.

Around 4.03 lakh people are 

bitten by snakes every year

 in the country, and 7,511 

of them die of the injury

Apart from human being, around 2,500 cows die due to snakebite in the country every year. Although snake bites and deaths are common, no anti-venom is produced locally. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), snakebite is an important public health issue in the country as it is the second most common cause of deaths during floods. 

In Bangladesh, out of 82 species of snakes, 27 are poisonous and 6 species are poisonous snakes of human concern. Although their usual habitats are mainly away from the human communities natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes force them to come near human settlements.

The hospitals and clinics usually use anti-venom serum for providing life saving treatment of snakebites. At present, the government is now importing such types of sterile medicines from abroad.

Currently, anti-venom is being provided to all district-level hospitals of the country but there is still a shortage of anti-venom at the upazila levels. Therefore, we need to produce anti-venom serum locally. Besides, physicians and health workers should be trained up to deal with the venomous snake-bitten injured people. The health ministry will have to provide anti-venom, a medication which is used to treat certain venomous bites, to all upazila health complexes.