24 hour emergency helplines

Many countries  have a national poison information helpline. This helpline can assist in any case of bite or sting. These helplines provides a 24/7 assistance for telephonic toxicology consultation services. This service is free. Within the context of envenomation, it should be your first point of contact in your country in the following instances:

  • If someone has been bitten or stung by a venomous creature.
  • If someone thinks they have bitten or stung by a venomous creature.
  • If a medical professional requires advice regarding the treatment of bites or stings, or the use of antivenom.

Note that this helpline can also assist for medical situations internationally. Data collected from this free service is used to shape and refine our understanding of bites and stings, of medical treatment, and the use of antivenom.

National poison information helplines  in Southern Africa include: 


Eswatini Antivenom Foundation
24 hour emergency helpline
Thea Litschka-Koen
+268 7602 5088


Namibian Snakebite Interest Group
24 hour emergency helpline
Dr Christo Buys
+264 81 127 5109
Dr Esta Saaiman
+264 81 288 9157

South Africa

National Poison Information Helpline
24 hour emergency helpline
Emergency toll free number
086 155-5777

As  a patient or responder, if the medial treatment is not living up to expectations, then phone a poison information helpline and they can advice the medical staff at that facility. They can advise medical professionals on treatment as well as the use of antivenom and sourcing antivenom.

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