People sitting learning about snake bites

Grant #477

Creating Awareness on Snakes and Snake Bites

November 29, 2021

How Much Do You Know About Snakes? The Answer Could Save Your Life

It’s the slithering sound no one wants to hear—the characteristic hiss of a snake in the wild. Sometimes the creatures are harmless and avoidable. But across large swaths of the African continent—where snakes are often associated with evil or believed to be a bad omen—interactions between people and the reptiles can end in disaster. Lacking better alternatives and access to reliable healthcare, victims of snake bites often consult with traditional healers, who recommend unprescribed herbal treatment when in fact anti-venom medication is needed. In Kenya, that protocol has led to hundreds of deaths per year. 

David Ouma, a research fellow at the National Museums of Kenya and a member of Nature Kenya Youth Committee, wants to do something about that. Ouma knows that snakes are dangerous to people, but vital to their environment, feeding on rodent populations and pests that can be sources of disease to humans. Eliminating them is not the answer. Nor is ignoring the threat. Instead, Ouma is advocating for comprehensive education. 

With his grant, he plans to design a curriculum that will create awareness about snakes, teach snake bite management, and show locals how to coexist with their reptilian neighbors in Funyula, Kenya, where he’s based. He’ll host workshops and commission posters to reach target groups, including school-age children and health care workers, who will be trained in how best to handle and treat snake bite victims. No one wants to think about being the victim of a snake bite, but preparedness can mean the difference between life and death. Did you hear that? It’s the sound of a better, safer tomorrow.   

  • People sitting learning about snake bites
Category: Activism, Animals, Education, Environment, Nature