Maker of the PET Mobility Cart since 1994.
Will you help those who have been bitten by snakes?
Mobility Worldwide MO-Columbia Update: 1,229 built since 1-1-17

When in 1994, the missionary Larry Hills asked me to develop the three-wheeled hand-cranked wheelchair (originally called PET), the immediate need in Zaire was for the victims of polio and landmines. Then as we grew in scope, other needs were found – leprosy, diabetes, birth defects, falling from trees when picking fruit, etc. Then we began to get a few notes listing “snakebite resulting in amputation” as the need for mobility. That puzzled me as I could not imagine snakebite as causing need to lose a leg.

Last week I received the fall issue of “The Ark,” the official magazine of Heifer, an NGO which works all over the world. Here is data from that issue;

*** 400,000 people suffer amputations, disfigurement, or permanent disability, annually, due to snakebites.

2012 Report from KODO in Malawi: “Mr. Jamison whose leg was amputated in 1949 after snake bite. He is now able to work at his shoe repairing shop.”

*** More people die from snakebites annually than from all these tropical diseases combined – Cholera, Dengue Fever, Chagas Disease, Leishmaniasis, Yellow Fever.
*** 5,000,000 persons are bitten each year, resulting in some 150,000 deaths.
*** Poor rural farmers and their families are most at risk. I remember when working with Habitat that the mothers were so glad to get out from under grass roofs, because snakes so often lived in them.
*** Some of the species most responsible for snakebite deaths include The Spitting Cobra (Africa); Russell’s Viper and the Speckled Cobra (India/Asia).
*** The largest deadly snake is the King Cobra, 14-18 feet long.
*** The most deadly is the Saw Scale Viper, 3 feet long.
*** Nigeria, where we have a lot of our Mobility Carts, has the highest concentration of deaths from snake bites – 14 per 100,000 people. Here in Columbia, MO, that would mean that 18 people a year would die from snakebites.

Mobility Worldwide is a fascinating study.
“Faith is like radar that sees through the fog.” Corrie Ten Book
Mel West, Director Emeritus
DBA Mobility Worldwide MO – Columbia