Eswatini’s Envenoming Strategy

Black mamba. Mozambique spitting cobra. Puff adder.

Living in the largely rural Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) means living among these notorious snakes, the country’s main perpetrators of snakebite envenoming, WHO reports.

This neglected tropical disease brings huge suffering across the globe. 7,400 people suffer snakebites every day; they kill up to 138,000 people each year, and permanently disable scores more.

The WHO’s goal: halve snakebite-induced deaths and disabilities by 2030 by combining community empowerment, improved access to treatment and strengthened health systems.

A sneak peek of the plan was released yesterday; the full strategy will be launched at the World Health Assembly later this month.

Eswatini is already taking action with a community-based approach, educating people about identifying and avoiding venomous snakes, enlisting snake catchers to relocate dangerous snakes, and training traditional healers to identify and refer cases of snakebite envenoming to health centers.

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