Giving Compass' Take:

· Each year, 100,000 people are killed from snakebites. In an interview with Devex, David Williams, chair of the WHO Working Group on Snakebite Envenoming describes the overlooked issue and why action needs to be taken now to help prevent deaths, disabilities and unnecessary suffering.

· Why is this issue overlooked? How can the unnecessary number of deaths from snakebites be prevented?

· Health care plays a major part in global development. Read about investments in technology to deliver health care.

Health experts and campaigners working to help save some of the 100,000 people killed each year by snakebite are celebrating, after a World Health Organization resolution saw 194 countries affirm the need to boost access to quality antivenoms and prevention efforts.

A working group from the United Nations health agency is aiming to report by the end of November with recommendations to governments on how to provide higher quality, affordable antivenoms, better training for health care workers, more effective prevention efforts, and more data on the scale of the problem.

An estimated 2.7 million people are bitten by venomous snakes each year. In addition to those killed, around 400,000 people are left permanently disabled. Disadvantaged countries suffer the most, with 16 low- and middle-income countries in West Africa seeing at least 3,500 to 5,350 deaths annually.

“In relation to the size of the problem, there hasn’t been the amount of investment needed to develop solutions that would change the landscape,” David Williams, chair of the WHO Working Group on Snakebite Envenoming.

Read the full article about the snakebite battle by Vince Chadwick at Devex International Development.