Snakebite MSF Project - Abdurafi, Ethiopia

20 February 2019

Migrant workers start the sorghum harvest in darkness early in the morning before sunrise, in open shoes and without torchlights which increases the risk of snakebite. A group of migrant workers harvest sorghum about a 30-minute-drive by car from Abdurafi town. They usually come at the start of the harvest season (June) to the area to earn their living as daily worker on the big farms. Snakebites hit the poorest of the poor: In Ethiopia’s north the remote rural communities are particularly at risk as they live in simple mud tukuls/huts and often have no protective measures, such as bed nets and beds that protect against snakes and kala azar. If they are bitten or fall ill with kala azar they have very limited access to health education and medical care. Many have to travel for hours, especially migrant workers who live in the remote fields, to reach medical facilities, while timely treatment of snakebite is crucial.

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