Snakebite kills 45,000 people annually in India - mostly simple village folk. Anjali Health Center (Pithora, Chhattisgarh) & Divya Chhaya Hospital (Subir, Gujarat) are very small primary level hospitals supporting over 6000 economically vulnerable tribal families. These hospitals treat more than 200 snakebite patients every year. TIES is providing them with adequate supplies of Anti Snake Venom (ASV), medical supplies for wound management, and snakebite management training for staff.
90% of rural India comprises tribal communities engaged in farming and fatal encounters with snakes are common. Local hospitals lack stock of ASV and/or personnel trained to handle snakebite cases. Lack of awareness about the medical consequences of envenomation also delays medical treatment. Lack of current data regarding snakes and snakebite occurrences makes this a low priority issue in administrative circles despite Million Death Study showing 45000 people die every year due to snakebite.
The project will provide hospitals with a regular flow of ASV, medical supplies, life-support equipment, trainings on snakebite treatment and snake identification. Snakebite treatment experts in major cities have made themselves available over phone 24x7 to consult on complicated cases. Awareness campaigns by snake rescuers in community spaces around Pithora and Subir will educate villagers on snake behavior, simple measures to prevent snakebite and proper First Aid practices in case of a bite.
This project will save more than 100 lives every year in each of these two hospitals. 500 more lives will be impacted through awareness workshops and training sessions. The informal national level volunteer group responding to snake rescue calls has already mapped 5500 instances of human-snake conflict using a specially designed mobile app. Snakebite mapping is set to being in 2019. Data so generated will help clinicians and scientists understand snakebite dynamics across seasons and geography.