Keep These Children Safe From Snakebite!

Please read this all the way through so you can understand the magnitude of the problem we face.

Hi my name is Jonathan Twining, and I'm raising money for two groups in Kenya who are teaching people how to avoid snakebite. One is called the Upendo Conservation Area with their snakebite awareness training team, and the other is the Snake Community Action Network that is spreading awareness throughout Kenya. I am an active advisor and friend to both of these organizations.

Community Training in the Amukura Hills

Now, I know what you’re thinking … Ewwww. The truth is … Most people don't want anything to do with snakes, but for some people in the world, it is not a choice. Snakebite envenomation is a serious problem in Kenya and other parts of East Africa, and thousands of people die each year or become permanently disabled due to the effects of the snake's venom on their bodies. For those that do survive, the cost of paying for their treatment is extremely high considering many make less than $2/day. And many also suffer from the trauma and stigma of snakebite - they are thought to be cursed or evil. 


Some families live in houses made of nothing more than
sticks. and cowhides for a roof. Snakes can enter these
houses easily and bite a small child like these.

Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable. Over the past year we have worked with a number of children less than 10 years old who were bitten by snakes in their beds or while out in the fields with their siblings tending the cows. The parents of one boy could not afford his treatment, so his foot slowly rotted away, and it required surgery to reconstruct the foot. One elderly woman was bitten by a boomslang while mending a fence and died within 24 hours, leaving a grieving family behind. Another elderly woman was fetching firewood and a spitting cobra spit venom in her eyes and she was permanently blinded because she could not get treatment. Now she can do little for herself and must be cared for by her daughter. And she remains vulnerable because they live in a hut made of sticks through which any snake can enter.


Woman blinded by the venom of a spitting cobra

Because there is very little of the life-saving drug that we call antivenom in sub-Saharan Africa, the only way to save lives is through prevention strategies - to educate people how to identify dangerous snakes and to avoid snakebite. We can teach people how to understand snake behaviors so that they can avoid conflicts with these animals. We have successfuly completed this type of training for individuals in the marketplace, small community groups, schools, and churches. We have first hand accounts of people who practiced what we taught them and it saved their life when they had what could have been a deadly snake encounter.


There is a lack of antivenom for treating snakebites, so
prevention is the key to saving lives.

When possible, we also support the victims of snakebite envenomation. Victims and their families often need transport to a medical facility, and once they get there, they have no idea how to navigate the health care system, or where they can stay while attending to their hurting child, or know how they are going to pay for the patient's care. We can come alongside them and help them work with the hospital to understand the process and sometimes help by providing some financial assistance. To assist the victims after they leave the hospital, we are able to help coordinate wound care which can take several weeks. The wounds must be cleaned and rebandaged every three days.


Cleaning and rebandaging is needed every 2-3 days

We cannot do all of these things without the support of people like you. Most Kenyans we work with are living in poverty, so they cannot raise the financial support in their country. Your donations will be used to pay for transportation to and from training sites, copying training materials for peer trainers in various communities, first aid and snake removal training for members of each team, and medical supplies for snakebite victims.

So please give to support the community training programs of the Upendo Conservation Area and the Snake Community Action Network with which I engage. Let's save lives by reaching people however we can, wherever we can, with whomever is at hand
 
Jonathan Twining
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Donations 

  • Gabriel Montague
    • $50 
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 9 mos
  • Phillip A Bolerjack
    • $30 
    • 9 mos
  • John and Rebecca Faulconbridge
    • $50 
    • 9 mos
  • Phillip A Bolerjack
    • $25 
    • 9 mos
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Organizer

Jonathan Emerson Twining
Organizer
Smithfield, RI

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