Dhaka (AFP) Aug 9, 2009
Bangladesh plans to educate snake charmers on how to help bite victims after a survey found 6,000 villagers die each year from snake attacks, officials said Sunday.
The study by the government and the University of Newcastle in Australia found that the deaths were about one in 100 of those bitten.
"Out of the total snakebite cases, at least 6,041 die every year as they don't get treatment or go to the doctors when it's too late," Sheikh Abul Hossain Milton, lead researcher of the university, told AFP.
"The situation is very severe. Snakebite deaths in Bangladesh are by far the largest in the continent and possibly the highest in the world."
The deaths occur as almost all snakebite victims -- who are often housewives as snakes are attracted to kitchens for food -- seek treatment from gypsy snake-charmers, he said.
"The gypsies try to drain poisoned blood by making multiple cuts on the bitten spot and also use charms or exorcising to treat the cases," he said.
"But in cases of cobra and krait bites, the vascular and the nervous systems are affected quickly, leading to deaths."
The director general of Bangladesh's health services, Shah Monir Hossain, said snake-charmers would be told that victims of cobra and krait bites needed professional medical care immediately.
"We have to raise the awareness level among the snake-charmers because rural people mainly seek treatment from them. The gypsies can bring the deaths figure down by referring the serious cases to hospitals," he said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com
Smuggling wildlife: from eggs in a bra to geckos in underwear
Geneva (AFP) Aug 5, 2009
John Sellar is no comic book super hero, but judging by the criminals he deals with as the only policeman at the UN agency against illegal wildlife trade, he could well be one. Russian mafia, Latin American druglords, suspected rebel or terror groups and crooked Asian diplomats count among poachers of rhinoceros, tigers and leopards whom Sellar aims to collar. "My title is chief, but ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2009 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|