Snakebite Mitigation Program

The only feasible mitigation is to learn to live with them safely, learn proper snakebite management measures including first aid, and using modern medical facilities for treatment.

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EGWS is the only non-profit organization working in the area to mitigate human-snake conflict. Your donation is greatly valued as it will help us expand the scope of activities and the area/population served in the Eastern Ghats region of coastal Andhra Pradesh state in South India.

It is very important to note that only four species of snakes living in the Eastern Ghats are responsible for the high number of serious and fatal snakebites. These are: Spectacled Cobra (Naja naja), Russell’s viper (Daboia russelii), Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus) and Saw-scaled Viper (Echis carinatus), referred to as the Big Four venomous snakes of India. There are no recorded human deaths by King Cobra bite in the Eastern Ghats, partly because it is a rare species and also because it is a very intelligent and alert species which knows how to avoid humans.

The rural communities in the Eastern Ghats are mostly poor with marginal economies and without proper literacy. Lack of knowledge and access to technology makes them vulnerable to indecisive actions in the event of a human-snake encounter. We work towards capacity building at a grassroots level focusing on snakebite prevention strategies and effective snakebite management.

Project Site – Northern Eastern Ghats – Andhra Pradesh State - South India.

Capacity building of multiple stakeholders: We regularly organize awareness workshops, social media campaigns and community outreach programs in identified villages with clear actionable messages and outreach activities. We trained snake rescuers at all the identified villages where there is a high incidence of human-snake encounters in the Eastern Ghats. These rescuers work closely with the rural communities and frontline staff of the local forest department to remove problem snakes and deal with snakebite issues more effectively

Mitigation of human-snake conflict: Coupled with education and awareness programs, we also implement site-specific mitigation measures which could minimize negative interactions with snakes. These include the following efforts: wearing proper footwear at night, using mosquito nets while sleeping, carrying a light while walking at night to avoid stepping on snakes and promoting simple changes in land use management, such as removal of bushes and garbage that might provide shelter to snakes.

Surveys to assess morbidity: We conduct regular surveys to understand the severity of snakebites in affected villages and interview the victims or deceased families to understand the situations leading to snakebites.

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