Around 50,000 Indians are killed by snakes every year, and until now, there’s been no national strategy to deal with the problem.
World Health Organization herpetologist Ian Simpson has pioneered a system to spread knowledge and access to antivenoms. He believes it could cut deaths to a few thousand per annum by debunking the superstitions that many rely on for treatment.
Among the most common “cures”-founded on the belief that peacock have power over snakes – is the practice of tying peacock feathers to the bite. Simpson wants people to realize that the success rate of traditional cures hinges on the fact that most bites don’t actually release venom.