- Mumbai is observing a rise in number of snakebites .
- In 2017, from April to December, as many as 1,61,478 cases of snakebites were reported across India.
- Out of the total cases reported, Maharashtra accounted for 33,673 cases of snakebites.
- While West Bengal and Gujarat witnessed 30,621, and 5,584 cases of snakebites respectively.
In order to tackle the growing issue of snakebites, India’s premier research institute, the Haffkine Research Institute has begun a study to develop a vaccine against snakebites.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Nishigandha Naik, Director of Haffkine Institute, said, “In India, snakebite cases are on a rise and the state of Maharashtra tops the list. There are medicines and injections available in the market, but to make the medicines more effective we are carrying out this research. So, soon, we will begin the study to develop a new vaccine. Currently, we are trying to organise funds for the research.”
Dr Naik further said, “Ph.D. students, who are studying in the institute, will carry out the research. We will extract venom from different types of snakes and do research on that to develop a vaccine. The venom of the snake is very effective to develop the anti-venom. As of now, there are no guidelines available with the state government to develop the vaccine. We are trying to gather as much data we can, so we can start the research soon.”