ANI Photo | Union Health Ministry launches action plan to reduce snakebite deaths by half by 2030

Apurva Chandra, Union Health Secretary, launched a National Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Snakebite Envenoming (NAP-SE) in India in Delhi on Tuesday. The action plan seeks to reduce snakebite deaths by half by 2030.
According to an official statement, NAPSE provides a broad framework for states to develop their own action plan for the management, prevention and control of snakebites through the ‘One Health’ approach.
The activities envisaged under human, wildlife, tribal and animal health components will be undertaken by concerned stakeholders at all levels.
An array of IEC materials were also launched on the occasion, including a booklet on ‘Snakebite – Let’s put an end to snakebite deaths’ (this booklet will be used for creating awareness in the general community); Posters on dos and don’ts for the general community; and a 7-minute video on snakebite awareness for the general community.
These materials will serve as invaluable tools for raising awareness, disseminating critical information, and empowering communities to take proactive measures against snakebites.
It was informed that a Snakebite Helpline No. 15400, a vital resource that provides immediate assistance, guidance, and support to individuals and communities affected by snakebite incidents, will be piloted in five states (Puducherry, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi).
This initiative aims to ensure prompt access to medical care and information to the general public.
A National Rabies Control Program website was also launched on the occasion.
It is a comprehensive online platform dedicated to providing resources, updates, and insights on rabies.
This website will serve as a digital platform for states and UTs to enter information related to animal bites and rabies; it will also help the community assess the nearest anti-rabies clinic and infectious disease hospital for the management of animal bite and rabies cases.
The website will also help in sending the reminder SMS for vaccination follow-up.
The National One Health Programme for Prevention and Control of Zoonoses was also onboarded on the Integrated Health Initiative Platform. This initiative will help strengthen the surveillance of zoonotic diseases in the country.
Snakebite envenoming is a potentially life-threatening disease following the bite of a venomous snake. Venomous snake bites can result in medical issues that can be deadly or lead to permanent impairment if timely and appropriate treatment is not given. The majority of snakebite envenomation deaths and catastrophic sequelae can be avoided with prompt availability of safe and effective antivenoms, timely transport and referral.
In India, around 50,000 deaths occur from an estimated 3-4 million snake bites annually, which accounts for half of all snake bite deaths globally.
Only a small proportion of snake bite victims across countries report to clinics and hospitals and the actual burden of snake bites is grossly underreported.
As per the Central Bureau of Health Investigation (CBHI) reports (2016-2020), the average annual frequency of snakebite cases in India is around 3 lakhs and about 2000 deaths occur due to snakebite envenoming

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