introduction to South african snakebite symposium
In June 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) categorized snakebite
envenomation into the Category A of Neglected tropical diseases. The reclassification
will allow access to new funding, paving the way for broader and deeper research
and it should expand the accessibility of Antivenom.
In South Africa, high-risk groups for snakebite envenomation include rural
agricultural workers, Herpertologists, local anglers, people living in poorly constructed houses
and those with limited access to education and healthcare. In these disadvantaged
communities, children are often affected whilst sleeping on the floor.
Snakebite management at community healthcare clinics, as well as state and private
medical facilities need urgent attention. The inadequate primary medical interventions may have catastrophic consequences. Points of focus include:
Correct Symptomatic Management
Understanding of venom toxicity
Interventions with antivenom when indicated
THE South African Snakebite symposiumVision
To host the first notable South African Snakebite Symposium. To be the recognised platform from which healthcare professionals and medical service providers can gain life-changing knowledge regarding snakebites and envenomation.
To provide a comprehensive snakebite symposium that can be showcased throughout South Africa and be the benchmark event from which other international organisations and countries can benefit from.
THE South African Snakebite symposiumTeam
Director Lowveld Venom Suppliers. Head Wildlife Management MTPA. MSc candidate NWU
Prof. Tim Hardcastle
Honorary Associate Professor of Trauma and Surgery- UKZN, Head Clinical Department Trauma and Burns, Albert Luthuli and DOH- KZN. Honorary Research Associate Professor in Health Sciences- DUT.
Prof. Andreas Engelbrecht
Head of Emergency Medicine at Steve Biko Academic Hospital/ University of Pretoria
Prof. Ken Boffard
Specialist Trauma Surgeon, Professor Emeritus, Department of Surgery, University of the Witwatersrand Trauma Director and Academic Head, Milpark Hospital Academic Trauma Centre
Prof. Che Weldon
Professor of Zoology within the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management North-West University.
Prof. Andrew Leisewitz
Veterinary surgeon and lecturer in Small Animal. InternalMedicine at Onderstepoort since 1990.
Dr. Vidya Lalloo
Emergency physician Steve Biko Academic Hospital.
Dr. Christoffel Bell
Senior Medical officer at Mosvold District Hospital KZN.
Dr. Morne Strydom
Senior Lecturer, Clinical Pharmacologist
Department of Pharmacology, UP.
Dr. Sara Padidar
Lecturer at the University of Eswatini, in the Department of Biological Sciences.
Dr. Jess Briner
Exotic animal and wildlife Veterinarian at Briner Veterinary. Services, with a special interest in reptile medicine.
Dr. Jo-Anne Gibb
Veterinarian, Owner Vet on 66.
National Emergency Trauma, Transplant, Disaster Management and Corporate Social Investment Management, Netcare.
Freelance Emergency Medical Evacuation Nurse Consultant. Event co-ordinator for the South African Snakebite Symposium.
Paramedic ECP and Masters in Health science Education, Emergency Medicine lecturer at AIEM.
Paramedic MsC Extreme Medicine, Wilderness and Mountain Rescue, Lecturer at AIEM.
Nick Van Der Walt
Director of Access Professional. Development, Emergency Care Practitioner at Netcare, Health and Safety Officer.
Lowveld Venom Suppliers. Head Reptile Recovery.
Thea Litschka- Koen
Founder and Chairperson Eswatini Antivenom Foundation.
Owner/ Director Hoedspruit Reptile Centre
Director at Snake Bite Assist, Snake Expert
Author, Herpetologist at African Snakebite Institute.
Snake handler since 1965, venom supply since 1999, snake courses since January 2000.
Herpetologist, focusing on snake ecology and snakebites at Hoedspruit Reptile Centre African Program Manager Save the Snakes PHD. PHD candidate WITS
Author, Speaker, Conservationist. The Creepy Crawly Guy.
Anneke Van Schoor
Manager Lowveld Venom Suppliers.
Goals & Objectives South African Snakebite Symposium
To host the first-ever South African Snakebite Symposium from the 29th to 30th of July 2022
at The Capital, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.
Our objective is to educate and empower healthcare professionals, physicians, nurses, emergency medical services (first responders) and traditional healers at their respective facilities about the management of snakebites and other envenomations.
The South African Snakebite Symposium will serve as an evidence based medical platform that will include individual manuscript guidelines, a quick reference emergency flipper card, presentations, discussions and interactive skill workshops on effective management of snakebites from a professional panel that have the academic and clinical expertise to
assist with the best patient treatment outcomes by saving lives and limbs through
Our goal is to improve the best patient outcome of snakebite victims in South Africa. This is achieved by correcting the current harmful first-aid practice, improving emergency transfers, and empowering the clinicians. The South African Snakebite Symposium is a valuable evidence based resource and training platform.