IRD: One and a half million is the number of victims of snake bite poisoning each year in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the IRD (Institute for Research for Development) One and a half million is the number of victims of poisoning following a snake bite every year in sub-Saharan Africa. An IRD researcher has just analyzed a hundred or so studies and medical reports published over the last forty years. Until then, no large-scale examination of the situation had been carried out and health authorities underestimated the scale of the problem. Thus, today, only 10% of the victims are being treated due to a lack of anti-venom* and an unaware medical staff. Yet clinical complications can be very serious, even fatal. A cobra or mamba bite can lead to death by asphyxia – due to respiratory paralysis – within 6 hours of the accident. The bite of the ocellated echid, a viper very widespread in the African savannah, can cause haemorrhages leading to death within a few days. This new study provides the authorities with more precise and reliable figures, enabling them to readjust their health care system as closely as possible to the needs.

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