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The UK Government recognises the importance of snakebite envenoming (the act of being poisoned) and is carrying out research in this area. DFID and the Medical Research Council are currently funding the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to develop a new ‘universal anti-venom’ to treat victims of any of 21 of the most venomous snakes that threaten human health in sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition, DFID launched a call for expressions of interest for the development of new technologies in March this year. New anti-venoms to treat snake bites were highlighted as one of the areas where research is needed. The intent is to develop anti-venom that can be stored safely at ambient temperature, avoiding the need for refrigeration.