Understanding and tackling snakebite envenoming with transdisciplinary research

Gutiérrez, José María, Borri, Juliette, Giles-Vernick, Tamara, Duda, Romain, Habib, Abdulrazaq G., Malhotra, Anita, Martín, Gerardo, Pintor, Anna F.V., Potet, Julien, Scott, Terence, Bolon, Isabelle, and de Castañeda, Rafael Ruiz (2022) Understanding and tackling snakebite envenoming with transdisciplinary research. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 16 (11). e0010897.

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Snakebite envenoming (SBE) is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) of high global impact. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 4.5 to 5.4 million people are bitten by snakes annually, resulting in 1.8 to 2.7 million envenomings, 81,000 to 138,000 deaths, and at least 400,000 people suffering from physical or psychological sequelae. SBE mostly affects impoverished rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America, and parts of Oceania, thus fueling a vicious cycle of poverty and illness. SBE not only affects humans, but also domestic animals, including livestock, with negative social and economic consequences. This requires a better understanding of the complex social, cultural, and ecological contexts where SBE occurs, within the conceptual frame of One Health, an integrated approach that recognizes the health of humans, animals, and the environment as closely linked and interdependent. Such complexity demands more integrative approaches for better understanding and confronting this disease.

SBE has unique features that make its prevention and control challenging. Unlike many infectious diseases, SBE cannot be eradicated, but its incidence and impact can be reduced through effective programs aimed at better prevention and rapid access to treatment. This in turn demands the engagement of communities to improve the cohabitation of humans, domestic animals, and snakes in rural agroecosystems. In 2019, the WHO launched a strategy for the prevention and control of SBE, aimed at halving the deaths and disabilities caused by this NTD by the year 2030. This strategy is based on 4 pillars, i.e., empower and engage communities; ensure safe, effective treatment; strengthen health systems; and increase partnerships, coordination, and resources. Building on previous ideas and publications, this article discusses and advocates for transdisciplinary research on SBE and for promoting dialogue and collaboration between sectors, particularly by engaging communities affected by SBE at all levels of the research process.

Item ID: 77607
Item Type: Article (Short Note)
ISSN: 1935-2735
Copyright Information: © 2022 Gutiérrez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2023 02:58
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310914 Vertebrate biology @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200499 Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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