World

Australia funds project to beef up fight against snakebite deaths in Myanmar

Australia is funding a three-year, 2.3 million Australian dollar ($1.8 million) project that will aid snakebite victims in Myanmar by upgrading care facilities and the quality and availability of antivenom.

The University of Adelaide says Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has awarded it the grant for the project, to be carried out along with Australian antivenom producer bioCSL.

A statement from the university seen Monday says an estimated 2,000 people a year die from snakebite in Myanmar. In most cases, the victims live in rural areas where they don't have timely access to the necessary care and medicine.

Australia has a high number of poisonous snake species, but awareness and infrastructure for dealing with them is well developed, so there are just a handful of fatalities each year.