2015 IST World Congress
The World Congress of the IST was held at the University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, September 25th to 30th, 2015. More details may be found on a dedicated website at http://lpmhealthcare.com/ist2015/.
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Venom experts say death & disability from snakebite up to double current estimates
WHO and governments need to correct data & prioritize snakebite as a killer disease
Oxford, 30 September, 2015 – Venom experts attending the International Society of Toxinology (IST) biennial [every 2 years] meeting presented new evidence showing that snakebite deaths, disability and DALYs lost are more than twice current WHO and Global Burden of Disease estimates. They called on WHO and governments to reinstate snakebite as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). They warned that not only are antivenom stocks running dangerously low, but there is also a real crisis in the quantity and quality of antivenoms in rural areas, where they are needed most. Where there is antivenom, too often health staff do not have the training or know how to administer it safely or effectively to patients.
“Snakebite kills more people than other Neglected Tropical Diseases combined, but is almost completely ignored and grossly underestimated - WHO and governments need to adjust their data and rank snakebite where it belongs, as a very real public health and medical concern, which needs funding, training and focus.” Said Prof. Alan Harvey, President of the International Society of Toxinology.
Over 400 leading scientists, toxinologists and clinicians came together over five days to exchange research findings and information in Oxford. They showed how great improvements could be made quickly and cheaply in the treatment and management of snakebite - if there is the political will at a global and national level:
Despite high mortality levels, in 2013, WHO demoted snakebite from an NTD to a “neglected condition” with no formal programme and in 2015 dropped it altogether. WHO no longer has staff or expertise allocated to snakebite. WHO needs to reinstate snakebite as a leading Neglected Tropical Disease. From a disease burden perspective, it should be ranked in the top three or four diseases, with a program to treat and prevent snakebite.
MOST RECENT CONGRESS OF IST
18th World Congress on Animal, Plant and Microbial Toxins
University of Oxford, UK, September 25-30, 2015.
17th World Congress on Animal, Plant and Microbial Toxins
Hawaii, USA, July 8-13, 2012
More information on the next World Congress will be posted when available.