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National Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Snakebite Envenoming (NAPSE)

Why is it in the news?

  • The recent launch of the National Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Snakebite Envenoming (NAPSE) by the Union Health Ministry in India is a significant development aimed at addressing the pressing issue of snakebite-related fatalities and morbidity in the country.


·       India witnesses around 50,000 deaths annually from an estimated 3-4 million snakebite incidents, comprising half of global snakebite fatalities.

·       The ‘big four’ snakes—common krait, Indian cobra, Russell’s viper, and saw-scaled viper—are responsible for approximately 90% of snakebite cases in India.


More about the news

  • The overarching goal of NAPSE is to reduce snakebite deaths by half by the year 2030.
  • NAPSE serves as a comprehensive guide for individual states to develop their action plans tailored to their specific contexts and needs. It emphasizes the adoption of the ‘One Health’ approach, which recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health.
  • The plan aims to systematically mitigate the risk of snakebite poisoning through various interventions. These include ensuring continuous availability of anti-snake venom, enhancing healthcare capacity, establishing effective referral systems, and conducting public awareness and education campaigns.
  • Key stakeholders are identified to oversee the execution of activities outlined in both national and state-level action plans. They provide technical expertise and logistical support across all levels of implementation, contributing to the formalization of state-specific strategies.
  • Additionally, involvement of other stakeholders such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in health, wildlife, and veterinary sectors, as well as professional associations and international development organizations, is vital. They contribute resources, expertise, and support at the grassroots level, augmenting the effectiveness of NAPSE implementation efforts.
Snakebite Helpline number

·       As part of NAPSE, the introduction of a dedicated Snakebite Helpline number (15400) in select states, including Puducherry, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and Delhi, is noteworthy.

·       This helpline aims to provide timely assistance, guidance, and support to individuals and communities affected by snakebites.


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