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Quality of WHO guidelines on snakebite: the neglect continues
  1. Soumyadeep Bhaumik1,
  2. Soushieta Jagadesh2,
  3. Zohra Lassi3
  1. 1 BMJ Global Health, London, UK
  2. 2 UMR Borea, Institut de recherche pour le developpement, Cayenne, French Guiana, France
  3. 3 The Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Soumyadeep Bhaumik; drsoumyadeepbhaumik{at}gmail.com

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Summary box

  • Snakebite is a major public health problem in many parts of the world.

  • WHO has readded snakebite to the list of neglected tropical diseases in 2017.

  • The two WHO guidelines on management of snakebite were appraised and found to have poor quality.

  • The guidelines had inadequate stakeholder involvement, poor methodological rigour, and competing interests were inadequately managed.

  • WHO should ensure development of high-quality guidelines on snakebite management in accordance with the WHO’s Guideline Review Committee process.

Snakebite remains a major public health challenge in many parts of rural Africa, Asia and South America.1 Available estimates suggest that there are about 94 000 deaths across the world annually due to snakebites2; a conservative estimate as many deaths in low and middle-income countries are not reported.3 The burden on health systems due to snakebite is much higher than what is indicated by the mortality, because even non-venomous snakebite victims visit healthcare facilities for assessment and the morbidity due to snakebite has been scarcely documented.4 The social and economic consequences of snakebite are known to be high …

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