Action Plan for Snakebite in India Launched

  • Union Health Secretary, Shri Apurva Chandra, launched the National Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Snakebite Envenoming (NAP-SE) in India. 
  • The plan aims to reduce snakebite deaths by half by 2030 through a ‘One Health’ approach. 
  • The plan includes a booklet on ‘Snakebite – Let’s put an end to snakebite deaths’, posters on “Dos” and “Don’ts” for the general community, and a 7-minute video on Snakebite Awareness. 
  • A Snakebite Helpline will be piloted in five states to provide immediate assistance and guidance to individuals and communities affected by snakebite incidents. 
  • A National Rabies Control Programme Website was launched to provide resources, updates, and insights on Rabies. 
  • The initiative will also help in strengthening the surveillance of zoonotic diseases in the country.


Snakebite Envenoming in India: 


  • A National Action Plan Background: 
  • Snakebite envenoming is a life-threatening disease resulting from venomous snake bites.
  • In India, around 50,000 deaths occur annually, accounting for half of all snakebite deaths globally. 
  • The average annual frequency of snakebite cases in India is around 3 lakhs, with about 2000 deaths due to snakebite envenoming. 
  • Around 90% of snakebites in India are caused by the ‘big four’ crawlers – common krait, Indian cobra, Russell’s viper, and saw-scaled viper. 
  • Administration of polyvalent anti-snake venom (ASV) is effective in 80% of snakebite cases. 
  • The lack of trained human resources and health facilities to treat snakebite patients and the unavailability of data on incidence, morbidity, mortality, socio-economic burden, and treatment patterns are major hindrances in planning for the mitigation of snakebites in India.


Vision & Mission of NAPSE:


  • Vision: To prevent and control snakebites envenoming to halve the number of deaths and disability cases it causes by 2030. 
  • Mission: To progressively reduce morbidity, mortality, and its associated complications in humans due to snake bites. Key Stakeholders and Supporting Stakeholders:
  • Key stakeholders will act as nodal agencies for the overall formulation, planning, coordination, and implementation of activities. 
  • Supporting stakeholders will assist key stakeholders in the coordination and implementation of various aspects of the NAPSE.
  • Other stakeholders include NGOs active in the field of snakebites in health, wildlife, and veterinary sectors, professional organizations and associations in the medical and veterinary sectors, and international development organizations. Strategic Actions for Operationalization: 
  • The human health component includes ensuring the provision of anti-snake venom at all health facilities, strengthening surveillance of snake bite cases and deaths in humans, strengthening emergency care services at District Hospitals/CHCs, institutionalization of Regional Venom Centre, and inter-sectorial coordination. 
  • The wildlife health component includes education awareness, antivenom distribution, strengthening of key stakeholders, systematic research and monitoring, and snake venom collection and snake relocation. 
  • Animal and agriculture component includes prevention of snake bites in livestock, community engagement, etc.
Posted in Current Affairs.