Snakebite deaths in India

• The Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR) at the University of Toronto, Canada recently released a study titled ‘Snakebite Mortality in India: A Nationally Representative Mortality Survey’.

Key findings:

• India recorded 1.2 million snakebite deaths in the 20-year period from 2000 to 2019 with an average of 58,000 deaths caused by snakebite annually.

• Around 70% of these deaths occurred in low altitude, rural areas of eight States — Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

• Half of all the snakebite deaths occurred during the monsoon period from June to September.

• Snakebite deaths occurred mostly in rural areas (97%), were more common in males (59%) than females (41%), and peaked in the age group of 15-29 years (25%).

• The numbers for annual snakebite deaths were highest in the States of Uttar Pradesh (8,700), Andhra Pradesh (5,200) and Bihar (4,500).

• The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises snakebite as a top-priority neglected tropical disease.

• Indian anti-venoms neutralise venom from only the spectacled cobra (there are three other Indian cobra species), common krait (there are seven other krait species), Russell’s viper and saw-scaled viper, whereas there are 12 other snake species causing fatal bites in the country.


Mains Paper 3: Environment

Prelims level: Snakebite deaths

Mains level: Highlights the Global Health Research survey

Subscribe to Get Weekly updates

Get daily current affair video, detailed current affairs PPT for quick revision and Free One Liner PDF directly in your inbox. Subscribe now to get this month's one liner for FREE.