Category Archives: Uncategorized

Forging a different path leading to global action to save lives and improve livelihoods

Written on September 18, 2021 at 8:54 pm, by

I’ve never been particularly comfortable talking about myself or the work that I do, which in many respects makes me an unusual champion for this cause. One of the reasons why I avoid social gatherings is my unease at having to explain to people I meet what I do, and why I do it. Of  Continue Reading »

My snakebite origins in a rural pastoralist community in Kenya

Written on September 17, 2021 at 1:41 pm, by

I am medical officer working in a rural pastoralist community in Baringo County, Kenya. I first came across snakebite cases during my pre-registration internship in 2012. Having grown up in the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi, I was intrigued that in fact snakebite was a public health issue. I was further shocked to find that  Continue Reading »

I really like snakes and now it’s a dream come true

Written on September 17, 2021 at 2:08 am, by

My story is as simple as, “I really like snakes”. I grew up in a part of the world with very few reptile species, let alone anything venomous. Instead, I fed my interest with childhood TV programmes like Crocodile Hunter and Kratt’s Creatures. As I grew older, I accepted that I would never make a  Continue Reading »

From a fascination to specialization

Written on September 17, 2021 at 12:48 am, by

In my years doing fieldwork, some people in rural communities have taught me that negative attitudes towards snakes can be diminished as they discover fascinating aspects of these reptiles’ natural history. Early on my career as a biologist, this fascination also led me to pursue a specialization in the study of venomous animals, their toxins  Continue Reading »

When passion becomes work, work becomes a hobby

Written on September 16, 2021 at 10:32 pm, by

My name is Naoual Oukkache and I specialize in venomous animals and their venoms. There are about 500,000 venomous animal species on earth (snakes, scorpions, spiders, bees, wasps, sea anemones, urchins, marine snails to name a few). Each species has a different venom, aiming at prey capture and defense. While one may think the venom  Continue Reading »

Why I chose a life in snakebite

Written on September 16, 2021 at 10:05 pm, by

My love and fascination for snakes is something that has remained with me from my early teens to this moment of me typing this note. It was during my college years that I got my first exposure to wildlife through ARRS in 2016. As a volunteer at ARRS i got the first chance of holding  Continue Reading »

The early cases I witnessed that guided my work

Written on September 16, 2021 at 9:49 pm, by

I received my PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK in 1993 based on research on ‘Neuromuscular effects of the venom of Russell’s viper. On return, I joined Chattogram Medical College in Chattogram, Bangladesh in August 1993. On the 2nd day of work, I came across a pregnant women admitted with profound neurotoxicity  Continue Reading »

Traditional healers can contribute to improve health outcomes of snakebite victims.

Written on September 16, 2021 at 9:03 pm, by

Blog: Snakebite is a disease that leaves significant sequelae and many cases go unnoticed because they do not result in fatal consequences. In tropical rural regions where more than 95% of global cases are recorded, many survivors continue to suffer various long-term physical and psychosocial disabilities. However, the effects of these sequelae on the quality  Continue Reading »

A career inspired by the memory of my uncle

Written on September 16, 2021 at 8:16 pm, by

My uncle was bitten by a snake in 2015. We took him to a local herbalist who claims to have had the treatment for snakebite. He treated my uncle for one week with herbs and it looked as if my uncle was better. We returned home, but after two days, my uncle became worse-off. Despite  Continue Reading »

Contributing to the perception of snakes in my community

Written on September 16, 2021 at 7:44 pm, by

As a veterinarian, I wanted to contribute to the perception of snakes in my community. The majority of Kenyan residents are pre-conditioned to kill snakes upon confrontation, this is mainly due to the devastating consequences that result from venomous bites causing disabilities, chronic conditions and ultimately death. Hence, snakes are considered as “bad” for humans.  Continue Reading »