Today is International Rural Women’s Day, which celebrates the incredibly hardworking women who live in rural areas around the world. They serve as necessary providers for their families and their communities. Living alongside nature, many rural women encounter wildlife, including snakes!
In 2018, the Save The Snakes Team visited our conservation partner Kamal Devkota in Nepal. During our visit, we met Maya, who was bitten by a snake. She was working in a rice paddy, carrying a heavy load when she stepped on a snake and it bit her. Within 15 minutes, she arrived at Kaligandaki Hospital in Kawasoti.
Due to the dedicated community outreach efforts of the hospital, Kamal and the Nepal Toxinology Association, most people are aware that this hospital carries lifesaving anti-venom. Also, Dr. Amod Ghimire (pictured below) and other hospital staff, were able to quickly identify the snake that bit Maya as a non-venomous keelback. Now safe, she was able to go back home after some time in observation.
Due to the proximity to snake habitat, women working in rural areas often encounter snakes. When women and their community are involved in snake education efforts, made aware of appropriate snakebite treatment and doctors are properly trained, lives can be saved from snakebite.
Photos by Maaike Starkey.