Click here for Lao version/ຄລິກບ່ອນນີ້ ເພື່ອອ່ານພາສາລາວ
WHO people in poor tropical countries are especially at risk because of
shortage of antivenin treatment
Five million people worldwide, mostly in rural Asia and Africa, get
bitten by snakes each year. Hundreds of thousands die or suffer permanent
disability. A shortage of antivenin treatment in poor countries endangers
countless farmers, young adults and children.
Larry Bulanadi is known in the Philippines as Cobra King, because of his skill in hunting
the feared spitting cobra - a highly venomous snake that spits toxin at its
Farmers in this area have asked him to rid their farms of cobras.
Today Bulanadi was called by this farmer who found two snakes in his field. If
he gets bitten by a cobra, he could die quickly. Hospitals are far away and
often they do not even have antivenin.
LARRY BULANADI, SNAKE HUNTER (Speaking in Tagalog with English VO)
"There is a good chance to find snakes here because the field has been
cleared of places they could hide. // Farm owners ask us to clear the field of
snakes because it is a risk to their lives."
The World Health Organization says about five million people around the world
are bitten by snakes each year. As many as 200-thousand die, and about 400-thousand
lose limbs. Most victims are in developing countries in Africa and Asia.
The WHO says victims in developing countries, many of them children, die
because they are far from medical help and because there is a global scarcity
Dr. Visith Sitprija runs the WHO Collaborating Center for Venomous Snake
Toxicology and Research in Bangkok. He says the high cost of producing
antivenin means poorer countries such as Cambodia and Burma cannot get adequate
Unlike other medicines that can be mass produced, Dr. Visith says antivenin is
often tailor-made for snakes from specific locations.
DR. VISITH SITPRIJA, WHO CENTER FOR VENOMOUS SNAKE TOXICOLOGY
"Although they may share the common toxin component, but the biological
effect varies, you know depending on the environment, genetics and the food
That means antivenin for a spitting cobra in the Philippines may not work
on someone bitten by a similar snake in West Africa.
In this snake farm in Bangkok, children are introduced to a variety of snakes.
They learn that most snakes bite people only by accident, and they learn ways
to avoid bites - such as wearing rubber boots.
For now, experts say the best ways to reduce the death and injury toll from
snake bites are prevention and education.
by Buasawan Simmala
ຟັງສຽງ ເປັນພາສາລາວໄດ້ ໂດຍການກົດປຸ່ມຢູ່ຂວາມືຂ້າງເທິງ