I will travel as a group of experts in snakebite treatment to support a snakebite treatment center in Guinea. The trip is one of a series of regularly scheduled trips and will involve clinical care, education, delivery of medical supplies, developing a research infrastructure, and opening a new physical facility in support of our local partners.
The snakebite treatment center sees patients from all over Guinea with a majority coming from southwest Guinea. The snakebite treatment center is located to serve an area of an exceptionally high incidence of snakebites on the order of several hundred per year. The snakebite treatment center is lead by dedicated local experts allowing us to support local capabilities and ensuring continuity of services.
Despite a high incidence of morbidity and mortality, snakebite is a relatively ignored global health problem and was declared a WHO neglected tropical disease. The Asclepius Snakebite Foundation has been collaborating with this snakebite treatment center for years through fundraising and regular trips to save lives and limbs. The Snakebite Foundation provides fundraising, medical supplies, and clinical care. Additionally, the trips are an opportunity to develop the capacity of the snakebite treatment facility by providing broader clinical training on lifesaving interventions such as airway and respiratory support as well as management of hemodynamic collapse. Long term outcomes are also supported by the continue development and refinement of a research infrastructure. Lessons learned will be carried forward to future trips and eventually to expansion to support snakebite treatment centers in other countries.
This was a multidisciplinary team from the Asclepius Snakebite Foundation that travelled Kindia, Guinea as part of our ongoing collaboration with local experts to care for snakebite patients. The clinic sees up to 700 snakebites per year and reduced the typical mortality rate from 30% to 5%.
During our 14 day trip, we were able to provide 12 days of education about snakebite treatments in a rural setting, provide 400 pounds of supplies, and 200 vials of antivenom. Our clinical team was able to provide new medical equipment and the relevant training, continuing medical education, and directly help treat patients. Our herpetology team and local colleagues worked to collect venom samples to advance the science behind treatment. Our team as a whole continued to build local partnerships and advocate for improved snakebite care in the region.