KATHMANDU, Feb 26: A rare book on Nepal´s poisonous snakes was unveiled in Kathamndu on Tuesday. The book titled ´Venomous Snakes of Nepal - a Photographic Guide´, written by a team of biologists and physicians from Nepal, Germany and Switzerland, was jointly launched by Health Secretary Dr Praveen Mishra and Switzerland´s ambassador to Nepal Thomas Gassonce.
The book, written on the basis of a rigorous research, gives details of Nepal´s poisonous snakes with precise articles and colorful pictures.
Prof Dr Sanjib Kumar Sharma of BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), one of the eight authors, said their book was the first attempt to help identify the deadly reptiles based on photographs and text in English as well as Nepali language.
Speaking at the book launch, Health Secretary Dr Mishra said the book would help people identity venomous snakes and avoid deaths caused by snake bites. "Nearly 500 deaths occur due to snake bites in Nepal every year despite our best efforts to avoid them," said Dr Mishra. "The book could be useful in avoiding deaths caused by snake bites."
Swiss ambassador Gassonce said the book would contribute to the ongoing debate about snakes in Nepal. "Through this book, we intend to stimulate interest, passion and knowledge of people about snakes," said Gassonce. The Swiss government has helped publish the book.
Dubbing snake bite as one of the most neglected tropical threat, Dr BP Das, Vice Chancellor of the BPKIHS, said, "Educating people about snakes is very important and the book serves this purpose."
The 76-page book outlines important external features of snakes which help distinguish venomous reptiles from non-venomous ones. The book, which gives details of at least 18 types of snakes, also offers basic information about treatment of snake bites.