In Kenya, there are over 1,000 snakebite deaths per year. Additionally, some 3,000-4,000 will face permanent disfigurement, an amputation, or years of psychological trauma. Snakebite envenoming is a major global health crisis effecting the poorest and most marginalized in our country and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and in more than 70 tropical and sub-tropical nations. 138,000 deaths are estimated globally each year, with upwards of 500,000 facing some form of permanent disability.
A major factor in Kenya is the severe shortage of effective and affordable antivenom. Many victims don’t or can’t get to hospital and staff at many health centres are insufficiently trained in snakebite treatment, even when the antivenom is available. There is also a continual need to educate rural communities in preventing snakebites both in the home and workplace and the proper first-aid and health-seeking behaviours to adopt in the event of the bite.