Third International Snakebite Awareness Day Celebrations – 19th September
The 3rd International Snakebite Awareness Day, 19th September 2020, was celebrated by the Clinical Toxicology Unit and Poisons Information Centre. . Weeklong activities were held with the aim to improve knowledge regarding snakebite prevention and appropriate first-aid care among the communities in and around Vellore. Posed with the unique challenge of the COVID19 pandemic, virtual zoom meetings were organised with 6 schools in and around Vellore district, targeting class 11 and 12 students. These were attended by 1931 school children and their teachers. The sessions were conducted by Medical and Nursing faculty from Medicine Unit – I, Medical students and Medicine Postgraduates. Titled, “A primer to Snake Biology”, the sessions aimed to introduce the children to snakes as marvels of the animal kingdom – exploring unique aspects of snake biology such as locomotion, special senses, snake venom and prey identification. Key aspects of snakebite prevention and appropriate first-aid were also discussed. The sessions were interactive and the students enthusiastically participated. Certificates of participation were issued to all students. At the Main hospital and Chittoor campuses, the OPD waiting area displays were used to spread the message of snakebite prevention and appropriate first-aid in the regional languages. It is hoped that these activities would play a role in spreading awareness regarding snakes and snakebite prevention and appropriate first aid in the community and be a step towards ending all snakebite related deaths in the country.