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[Correspondence] Snake bite in India: a neglected disease of poverty

We are grateful to The Lancet for their Editorial (July 1, p 2)1 on snake-bite envenoming, an acute time-limiting, life-threatening neglected tropical disease affecting farmers, labourers, hunters, shepherds, snake rescuers, and migrant populations in tropical and subtropical countries. In India, 49 000 people die of snake-bite envenoming every year,2 although this figure is probably underestimated because most patients in rural India attend village healers and so their cases go unreported. Doctors at primary health centres in India are replaced every 6–12 months and have poor knowledge about, and experience in, management of snake bites.