India’s Union Health Ministry has launched a National Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Snakebite Envenoming (NAP-SE). 

Key Features of NAP-SE

  • Vision: To reduce snakebite deaths by half by 2030 through ‘One Health’ Approach. 
  • State Action Plans: NAP-SE provides a framework for states to develop their own plans for snakebite management, prevention & control.
  • Snakebite Helpline (Pilot): A helpline number (15400) will be piloted in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry) for immediate assistance & guidance to snakebite victims.
  • IEC Materials: Information, education, and communication (IEC) materials material will raise awareness about snakebite prevention and treatment.
  • One Health Approach: NAP-SE acknowledges the interconnectedness of human, wildlife & animal health in snakebite cases.
  • National Rabies Control Programme Website was also launched to provide resources, updates, and insights on Rabies. 
  • The National One Health Programme for Prevention and Control of Zoonoses was also onboarded on the Integrated Health Initiative Platform which will help in strengthening the surveillance of zoonotic diseases in the country. 

One Health Approach 

One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems. 

It recognizes that the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and interdependent.

Significance of NAP-SE 

  • Snakebite is a neglected public health issue in India, causing many preventable deaths. NAP-SE addresses this issue with a multi-pronged strategy.
  • Improved access to anti-venom, prompt medical care & community awareness can significantly reduce snakebite deaths. 

Snakebite Death burden


  • India bears a disproportionate burden, accounting for nearly half of all global snakebite deaths.
  • In India, around 50,000 deaths occur of an estimated 3-4 million snakebites annually which accounts for half of all snakebite deaths globally. 
  • In India, around 90% of snakebites are caused by the ‘big four’ among the crawlers – common krait, Indian cobra, Russell’s viper and saw-scaled viper.


  • Snakebite envenoming – a neglected tropical disease – affects millions.
  • Estimates suggest 5 million bites and 80,000-138,000 deaths annually.
  • High burden in South Asia, Africa, and Southeast Asia. 


  • Limited healthcare access in rural areas, under-reporting of cases, lack of effective anti-venom, and community misconceptions all contribute to high snakebite deaths.
  • Administration of polyvalent anti-snake venom (ASV) containing antibodies is effective in 80% of snakebite cases, however, lack of trained human resources and health facilities to treat snakebite patients remains a cause of concern. 
  • Also, the unavailability of data on incidence, morbidity, mortality, socio-economic burden, treatment patterns etc. act as major hindrances in planning for mitigation of snakebites in India. 


  • Strengthening surveillance, improving healthcare infrastructure in rural areas, training healthcare workers, and educating communities on prevention and first-aid are crucial steps. 
  • Additionally, establishing a central coordinating body and promoting safe waste management are essential for program success. 

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