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Kenya Snakebite Research and Intervention Centre: Rationale.

Kenya Snakebite Research and Intervention Centre: Rationale.

Snakebite is a WHO-listed Neglected Tropical Disease that kills 32,000 people residing in some of the most disadvantaged rural communities of sub-Saharan Africa, and leaves over 90,000 surviving victims with permanent physical disabilities/disfigurements. The most economically-important and educationally-vulnerable 10-30 year olds suffer the highest rates of snakebite mortality and morbidity. Snakebite is a cause and consequence of rural poverty.

Snakebite Statistics
RegionCase FatalityBite IncidencesDeaths
Sub-Saharan Africa 7.6%420,00032,000
South Asia4.8%1,100,00058,000
Latin America1.7%129,0002,300

These hospital based statistics are focal and likely grossly underestimate the true snakebite burden of
disease – because many, perhaps the majority, of snakebite victims living in remote homesteads do not
access hospitals. What is all too clear though, is that the snakebite case fatality rate in sub-Saharan Africa is nearly double that of regions with much higher mortality. Why? It is imperative and urgent that research is conducted in Africa to answer this question, and to use the answers to significantly reduce snakebite death and morbidity. This One Pager describes the remit of the Kenya Snakebite Research and Intervention Centre (KSRIC), the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. KSRIC is located at the Institute of Primate Research Campus in Karen, Nairobi.

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