Public class: "Vietnamese venomous snakes: Species diversity, importance in research and management of venomous snake bite accidents in Vietnam"

Venomous snake bites are considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be one of 20 neglected tropical diseases (Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDs). Of the nearly 3,900 snake species recorded in the world, over 650 species are venomous, accounting for about 17%. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each year in the world an estimated 5.4 million people are bitten by snakes, 50% of which are poisonous snakes, of which about 400,000 people are permanently disabled and about 138,000 deaths are due to venomous snake bites. Accidental venomous snake bites are a common accident in tropical countries. As a global biodiversity hotspot, Vietnam is home to about 60 species of venomous snakes. Every year in our country there are about 30,000 cases of snake bites. However, studies on venomous snakes and the epidemiology of venomous snake bites in Vietnam have received little attention.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Van Nga, Director of Institute for Scientific Information, gives the opening speech at the Public Classroom

Continuing the series of events of public lectures, with the desire to disseminate knowledge about venomous snakes and prevent venomous snake bites, on November 22, 2023 in Hanoi,  Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and Institute Genome Research (IGR) of Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) coordinated to organize a public class: "Vietnamese venomous snakes: Species diversity, importance in research and ear management"  with the sharing of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thien Tao (IGR).

In class, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thien Tao said that Vietnam is located in the tropical region with different terrain and climate between the North, Central and South. That natural feature has created biodiversity in our country, including about 60 venomous snake species out of a total of about 230 recorded snake species. Accidents caused by venomous snake bites are estimated to involve about 30 thousand cases/year in Vietnam, with a relatively high death rate of about 80 people/1 million people.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thien Tao shared at the Public Classroom

Snake venom, if not treated promptly, it can lead to death or leave serious complication, greatly affecting the victim's quality of life. In our country, the diagnosis of venomous snakes that cause snakebite accidents is mainly based on clinical experience, so the level of reliability is limited because the venomous snake species in Vietnam are very diverse. Due to different geographical characteristics, there are different distributions of snake species between geographical regions. Therefore, clinical testing of venomous snakes in this area cannot be used to detect venom of snakes in other areas. On the other hand, when patients bring snake specimens, doctors also encounter many difficulties in identification due to lack of reference documents and epidemiological information on venomous snake bites. Therefore, there is a need for professional support to identify snake species when specimens are available, as well as additional information on the epidemiology of venomous snake bites to develop tests to specifically detect the venom of venomous snake species distributed in Vietnam.

At the Public Classroom, attendees interacted, discussed and discussed with Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thien Tao on issues related to the diversity of venomous snakes; venomous snake bite accidents; initial first aid and treatment when bitten by poisonous snakes; epidemiological information about poisonous snakes; and Information on current research and development of anti-venom serum production in Vietnam and around the world.;.…

Understanding the importance of researching and managing venomous snake bite accidents in Vietnam, Ms. Nguyen Thi Van Nga, Director of  Institute for Scientific Information, plans to soon organize a public class at  VAST in the near future for both school-aged children and parents who are VAST's staff. Opening public classes is one of the regular activities of ISI in coordination with specialized research institutes under VAST to disseminate useful scientific knowledge to everyone.

Some other photos:

Delegates attend the Public Class


Discuss with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thien Tao

Souvenir photograph

Translated by Quoc Khanh
Link to Vietnamese version

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