The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a website with a database of approved anti-venoms that can treat people who get venomous snake bites. It is estimated that over a 100,000 people die annually from snake bites.
The WHO website states that out of more than 3000 species of snakes worldwide, about 600 are venomous and over 200 are considered to be medically important. And bites by venomous snakes can cause severe paralysis that may prevent breathing; bleeding disorders that can lead to fatal haemorrhage; irreversible kidney failure; and severe local tissue destruction that can cause permanent disability and may result in limb amputation.
Anti-venoms â€” antidotes developed from the snake venom â€” can counter the effects of the venom and n can prevent disability or death if administered in time but many sources of information, especially in tropical and subtropical countries, are inappropriate. Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia are considered to be the regions that are most in need of reliable information on anti-venom.
The database lists information on snakes, with pictures, that are found in specific countries or regions.