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Developing Countries: Snakes

Department for International Development written question – answered on 27th July 2017.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

Her Majesty's Government what priority the Department for International Development plans to give to the issue of snakebite envenoming, given that the WHO considers it to be a category A neglected tropical disease.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development

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.

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