Research funding for snakebites is very poor globally. No medical advancement has happened in the last 125 years. “The Indian government could fund this research because it will benefit Indians, who are after all the most affected people,” says Vaiyapuri. “The Indian government has banned sending snakes to other countries. Hence, it is difficult to research in our labs. The central government should take steps to promote research in this field.”

Vaiyapuri’s team is now working on a diagnostic kit. “There is a strong need for this in India because this kit will confirm if there is a snakebite, which snake has bitten, and the quantity of venom circulating in the blood,” he explains. Further, there is a need to get information on snakebite incidents, especially in the rural areas where snakebites are most common. It is important that the public, researchers and the clinical community come together to work on this issue. 

Sharada Balasubramanian
Coimbatore, India