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International Snakebite Awareness Day 2020

by Public Health Update

September 19th is International Snakebite Awareness Day (ISBAD). International Snakebite Awareness Day was initiated from 2018. ISBAD provides an opportunity to raise the awareness of one of the world’s biggest hidden neglected health crises ‘Snakebite’.

The International Snakebite Awareness Day call for increasing awareness of the right ways to prevent snake bites, minimize risks and and improve the first aid and primary care of snakebite victims.

Snakebite envenoming is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by toxins in the bite of a venomous snake. In 2017 the WHO added snakebite to its list of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). 

Key facts

  • The exact number of snake bites is unknown.
    Estimated 5.4 million people are bitten each year.
  • Around 81 000 to 138 000 people die each year because of snake bites.
  • Agricultural workers and children are the most affected.


  • Twenty-one of the 79 species of snakes found in Nepal are poisonous (11 pit viper species, 5 krait species, 3 cobra species and 1 each coral and Russel’s viper species).
  • Around 15,000 snake bite cases estimated annually of which about 10 percent are poisonous bites.
  • The mortality rate is about 10 percent among poisonous bite cases. The 26 Tarai districts are highly affected. In the last eight years between 1 and 131 deaths have been reported from poisonous snake bites each year.
  • The free distribution of anti-snake venom serum (ASVS) began in 1999/2000.
  • There are 85 snake bite treatment centres are in the country for snakebite management in collaboration with Nepal army, Nepal Red Cross Society, community members.
  • In 2074/75, altogether 5,606 snake bite cases were reported at national level. A total of 794 cases were poisonous resulting in 20 deaths.

Source of info: Minutes to Die, WHO, DoHS, Annual Report 2074/75 (2017/18)

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