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Global Snakebite Initiative




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PART 1: Read this following article from voanews.com
The Global Snakebite Initiative Is Working to Improve Treatment for Victims

Scientists say the people most often bitten may be the least able to get good treatment. Transcript of radio broadcast: 22 April 2009

This is the VOA Special English Health Report.

More than four million people around the world are bitten by snakes each year. At least one hundred twenty-five thousand of these people die. Almost three million others are seriously injured. Doctors and researchers say the world does not provide enough good treatment for poisonous snakebites. To help improve the situation, experts have formed an international project called the Global Snakebite Initiative.

Poisonous snakebites are common in rural areas of many developing countries with hot climates. Many victims are agricultural workers and children in Asia and southern Africa. Shortages of antivenom medicines, the treatment for snakebite, are common there.�� Existing supplies may not be high quality or developed correctly for local needs.

Ken Winkel directs the University of Melbourne's Australian Venom Research Unit.� Doctor Winkel and university scientist David Williams are among the organizers of the Global Snakebite Initiative. Other project leaders are from Britain, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica and Singapore.

The International Society of Toxinology officially supported the Initiative last month at the World Congress of Plant, Animal and Microbial Toxins in Recife, Brazil.�

Doctor Winkel says antivenom treatment is too costly for many poor people who need it most. �The drugs are developed from the venom of poisonous snakes.

The Global Snakebite Initiative is trying to increase the availability of good quality antivenom treatments and improve medical training for patient care. �Another goal is to help manufacturers of antivenom medicines improve their products.

The project also wants communities to learn about snakebites and first aid. It wants more research and reporting systems. And it aims to help national health officials choose antivenoms for their countries' special needs.

The antivenom that cures the bite of one kind of snake may not be effective for another kind of snake.� And the medicines for a cobra bite in the Philippines may not work for someone bitten by a similar snake in West Africa.

Experts look forward to improvements in worldwide treatment for snakebite. But they say the best ways to reduce death and injury from snakebites are education and prevention.

Part 2: Answer the Questions

1. �How many people in the world are killed each year from snake bites?

�125,000������� �4,000,000��� �3,000,000��� 25,000

2. In which of the following locations would a snake bite be most likely to occur?

�a New Jersey Market�� �an�dairy farm in France��� �a school�in�Morocco���� �a village in Zambia

3.�Which of the following is NOT a difficulty faced by those seeking snake bite treatment? (may be more than one correct answer)

�treatments are not of high quality�

�the medicine is too expensive

the medicine takes too long to�produce�

�there is not enough antivenom medicine

4. Put a check next to the goals of The Global Snakebite Initiative.� (may be more than one correct answer)

increase the availability of good quality antivenom treatments

help manufacturers of antivenom medicines improve their products

improve medical training for patient care.��

5. Put a check next to� the best ways to reduce death and injury from snakebites.� (may be more than one correct answer)

�education

�living near� large town

�prevention