The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene said in India 46,000 people are dying every year from snakebites against the official figure of only 2,000.
More than 2.5 lakh cases of snake bites are reported every year. Those who survive the bite on the spot, subsequently die due to delay, unable to reach a hospital within the crucial golden hour or due to lack of treatment, resulting in overdose of anti-venom.
The statistics are shocking, considering India is neither home to the largest number snakes in the world nor is there a shortage of anti-venom in the country.
India had finalized a national policy that would ensure fast and effective use of anti-venom, besides making it available to healthcare centres in backward villages. The policy was to help train doctors who had inadequate knowledge on how to deal with the neuro-toxic shock that the patient experiences following a snake bite besides providing guidelines for hospitals conducting research on the subject.