Snakebite envenoming is one of the most neglected diseases, particularly in low- and middle-income countries with tropical climate and a rich snake fauna, such as Lao PDR, Vietnam, Ghana and Gabon. Worldwide snakebite envenoming affects as many as 2.7 million people every year and 81,000 to 138,000 deaths per year. Many surviving victims suffer permanent disability which significantly affects their working ability.
In June 2017 the World Health Organization added snakebite envenoming to their list of neglected tropical diseases and in May 2018 the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a resolution, which urges member states (i) to assess the burden of snakebites, (ii) promote community awareness of snakebite envenoming in support of early treatment and prevention, (iii) to provide training to relevant health workers on diagnosis and management of snakebite envenoming, (iv) improve the availability, accessibility and affordability of antivenoms to population at risk, and (v) intensify and support research on snakebite envenoming. These interventions are supposed to reduce snakebite mortality and disability by 50% until 2030.