Motivation and Objectives

Snakebite envenoming is one of the most neglected diseases, particularly in low- and middle-income countries with a tropical climate and rich snake fauna, such as Lao PDR, Vietnam, Ghana, Gabon, and Malawi. Worldwide snakebite envenoming affects as many as 2.7 million people and causes 81,000 to 138,000 deaths per year. Many victims suffer permanent disabilities that significantly affect their ability to work, and can also lead to social exclusion and stigmatisation.

In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) included snakebite envenoming in its list of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and in 2018, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a resolution calling on Member States to (i) to assess the burden of snakebites, (ii) promote community awareness of snakebite envenoming to support early treatment and prevention, (iii) to provide training to relevant health workers on diagnosis and management of snakebite envenoming, (iv) improve the availability, accessibility and affordability of antivenoms to the population at risk, and (v) intensify and support research on snakebite envenoming. In 2019, the WHA launched a strategy for prevention and control of snakebite envenoming. The core of the strategy is the goal for all patients to have better overall care so that the burden of mortality and disability is reduced by 50% in 2030.

Our main aim is to contribute to the WHO's strategy to reduce morbidity and mortality of snakebite envenoming. To do so, we are conducting studies with local partners on:

1) epidemiology of snakebites and venomous snakes in different geographical regions of the target countries,

2) availability of appropriate and effective antivenoms, and

3) clinical aspects of snakebite envenoming

Furthermore, we provide training for healthcare workers in management of snakebites, and develop guidelines that are adapted to the respective national circumstances.

 

If you want to know more about our projects and cooperation partners, please visit our page Research Projects.