LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization is publishing its first-ever global strategy to tackle the problem of snakebites, aiming to halve the number of people killed or disabled by snakes by 2030.
Nearly 3 million people are bitten by potentially poisonous snakes every year, resulting in as many as 138,000 deaths. Last week, Britain’s Wellcome Trust announced an 80 million-pound ($100 million) program to address the problem, saying there were new potential drugs that could be tested.
In a statement, Doctors Without Borders said it was “cautiously optimistic” WHO’s snakebite strategy could be a “turning point” in addressing snakebites.
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The agency called the problem of snakebites “a hidden epidemic” and said most bites are treatable.
WHO’s strategy includes plans to increase global access to treatment and anti-venom.
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