Each year, 2.7 million people around the world suffer a serious snakebite envenomation. At least 125,000 are killed and 400,000 more are permanently disabled. In India alone, over 46,000 people die from snakebite, which accounts for almost half of worldwide snakebite deaths. In response to this snakebite crisis, the World Health Organization classified snakebite as a neglected tropical disease as few efforts exist to reduce snakebite in developing countries.
Rural communities in tropical countries are the most impacted by the snakebite crisis. Families in these communities are primarily poor with very limited access to health care. A snakebite can destroy not only an individual’s life, but their family’s livelihood as well. Those who do survive a snakebite are often faced with a massive financial debt to pay for antivenom treatment, yet are often unable to return to work or school because of their injuries.
However, snakebite is a preventable disease. With a basic understanding of snake ecology and simple changes to daily routines, most snakebites could be avoided.
How To Prevent Snakebite
(1) Watch where you put your feet and hands, so you don’t accidentally touch or step on a snake.
(2) Always use a light when you walk at night to avoid stepping on a snake in the dark.
(3) Keep rats and mice away from your home, because they they will attract snakes.
(4) Keep paths clear, cut grass short and remove debris that accumulates near your home.
How You Can Help
Save The Snakes is working to find sustainable solutions to the snakebite crisis and mitigate human-snake conflict. You can support our work by donating today, which will fund our snake awareness and snakebite treatment workshops. Together we can save snakes and protect people in communities impacted by snakebite.
Please watch this short film as it explores the sheer devastation of snakebite on victims, their families and their communities in some of the most snakebite-afflicted countries: