Iraq,\n Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen report the largest \nnumbers of snakebite cases (for example, a study in Saudi Arabia \ndescribed 1,019 snakebite cases for the period 2005-2010), with common \nepidemiological patterns: males being predominantly bitten outdoors on \ntheir feet. On the other hand, only two snakebite case reports were \nfound from Kuwait and no information was available from Qatar.

Countries\n in this region should be encouraged to make snake bites and scorpion \nstings notifiable diseases, and to record associated mortality and \nmorbidity, so that the public health importance of these conditions can \nbe more reliably assessed.” said Professor David Warrell of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, who is the coordinating author of the study.


There\n are only two antivenom producers in this region. The Scientific Studies\n & Research Centre SYRIA now manufactures only scorpion antivenom. \nTheir “Polyvalent Anti snake Venom sera” is no longer obtainable. \nNational Antivenom & Vaccine Production Center (NAVPC), National \nGuard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, manufactures bivalent Naja/Walterinnesia Snake Antivenom, polyvalent Snake Antivenom, and polyvalent Scorpion Antivenom.

Imported Indian Vins “Snake Venom Antitoxin (Biosnake)” is claimed to neutralise Naja haje, Naja nigricollis and Cerastes cerastes venoms,\n but the geographical origin of these venoms and the clinical \neffectiveness of the antivenom for snakebites in Arab countries is \nunproven.

Current\n political turbulence in the region is jeopardising local production, \nand importation from adjacent Middle Eastern countries. It also makes \nthe development of a coordinated regional initiative to overcome this \ndeficiency far more difficult. Responsible international producers \noutside the region should consider developing appropriate antivenoms to \nmeet the humanitarian need and marketing opportunity. However, new \nregional antivenoms must be designed based on sound knowledge of the \nspecies known to be of the greatest medical importance and raised using \nvenoms obtained from snakes in Arab countries” said Professor Zuhair S. Amr, lead author, Jordan University for Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.

Adequate\n prevention and increased awareness of this public health problem in the\n region should also be promoted, particularly among farmers and other \ngroups in rural areas and exposed to encounters with snakes in their \neveryday life.  

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