Health Action International (HAI) advocates at local, national and global levels for policy changes that will improve snakebite prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Our advocacy work includes creating both multi-stakeholder platforms and dialogue to inform evidence-based advocacy,  equipping civil society partners with advocacy tools to press for greater action on snakebite, and recruiting advocacy ‘champions’ to advance snakebite policies.

In 2017, our advocacy and awareness-raising successfully contributed to getting snakebite envenoming onto the World Health Organization’s (WHO) priority list of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). It also advanced the adoption of a Resolution on Snakebite Envenoming by the 71st World Health Assembly in 2018, which further compels the WHO and its Member States to take concerted action on snakebite. In 2019, a WHO-led global, strategic plan for control and prevention of snakebite, the so-called Snakebite Roadmap, was presented at the 72nd World Health Assembly.

In 2020, despite the COVID-19 global pandemic, HAI continued rolling out the Snakebite Project in-country while keeping the issue visible on the global-level. Among others, high-quality data was gathered in both communities and health facilities, resulting in the publication “Snakebite in Kenya: Evidence from the field—Research data from 2019-2020”. Due to  the operational difficulties in undertaking community and field-related activities under the COVID-19 measures, the project continued to stimulate dialogue and visibility for community leaders responding to snakebite through the pandemic supported by virtual meetings and campaigns. The webinar “Women Champions leading the fight against Snakebite” promoted a global dialogue about snakebite prevention, treatment and management responses during COVID-19 and beyond. Building upon its success, HAI, together with the Global Snakebite Initiative and the Lillian Lincoln Foundation, launched a campaign and network featuring “Women Champions of Snakebite”, shedding a light not only on an NTD but also on women working in the field who have been largely overlooked on the global level. Further, our extensive snakebite network has helped position HAI as the go-to organisation for capturing first-hand experiences on snakebites in relation to COVID-19 from community leaders and advocates around the world. Insights and viewpoints gathered to directly address and respond to barriers for snakebite prevention and treatment  thrown-up by the pandemic will continue to enrich our evidence-base.

Examples of social graphics for the “Women Champions of Snakebite” campaign. Learn more on the campaign website!

Flyer for and recording of Webinar “Women Champions Leading The Fight Against Snakebite”

OPINION-EDITORIAL ON THE LANCET GLOBAL HEALTH BLOG: WHO Has Added Snakebite to the NTD List: These Things Need to Happen Next

Download the event poster.

PREVIOUS EVENT: Health Action International and the Global Snakebite Initiative worked with the Government of Costa Rica to coordinate the first-ever Member State side event on snakebite at the 69th World Health Assembly.