Mechanisms to Reverse the Public Health Neglect of Snakebite Victims

22–23 September 2015

Wellcome Genome Campus, UK


Snakebite is a WHO-listed Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). Each year it kills ~95,000 people residing in some of the world’s most disadvantaged subsistence farming communities, and leaves 2-300,000 survivors with permanent physical disabilities. Snakebite, like the other NTDs, is both a cause and consequence of tropical poverty, but is neglected by many governments and international health agencies. This retreat was designed to start reversing this neglect by identifying, and initiating, mechanisms to reduce the high rates of death and disability currently suffered by tropical snakebite victims.

We sought to combine the knowledge, experience and commitment of physicians, scientists and non-academics working on tropical snakebite with the fiscal, political and advocacy power of representatives from funding agencies, Governments, International Health agencies, medical charities and biotech/pharmaceutical companies to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Identify new research, and public health collaborative mechanisms through which we can substantially reduce snakebite mortality and morbidity.
  2. Identify options for funding these new collaborative initiatives.
  3. Identify means by which we can get snakebite issues included as priorities for International Health Agencies – as a minimum to persuade the 2016 WHO assembly to re-instate snakebite as a WHO priority NTD.
  4. Prepare ‘position papers’ for publication in journals whose readership includes policy makers in tropical Governments and International Health agencies, and the snakebite community.

Scientific committee

Scientific programme committee

José-María Gutiérrez
Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

Robert Harrison
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK

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