Delta community laments rising cases of snakebites
Residents of Ogharefe in Oghara town of Delta State have expressed worries over recent upsurge of snakes found around the town. This is coming on the heels of several residents suffering from snakebites. At the weekend, a woman (name withheld) was heard shouting on the evening of Friday, while struggling with a snake just a few steps away from her house.
The said woman was on her way to church after the restriction on movement was partially lifted when she mistakenly stepped on the tail of the snake. It became a battle, as the snake immediately curled itself around her left leg. While she struggled to kick it off, it ended up biting her several times.
Eventually, the snake left the woman and she quickly ran to her house crying for help. While she was shouting, one Mrs. Josephine Obriki, an eyewitness rushed to the scene with a cutlass, but the snake escaped. The woman was then taken to a nearby hospital where she was stabilized and given an anti-snake venom vaccine.
Residents of the area said there have been influx of snakes lately, as another woman was nearly bitten on Sunday afternoon but she quickly rushed to safety upon sighting it.
A similar event occurred at a school in the area when a snake bit a man on his hand while he was clearing grasses, but the affected man left it untreated because he felt it was a bite from a small snake. Days later, his hand started shaking severely and he told someone about it who then took him to a hospital. On getting there, the affected man started having a seizure, it took the prompt intervention of doctors at the general hospital to save his life.
Yesterday, one Mrs. Edesiri, a resident of Ogharefe, reported the death of a young man after a snake attacked him on Sunday.
“The snake bit him in front of his house and he didn’t have urgent access to medical care. People took him to a herbalist instead of a hospital and he died this morning.”
People in that area are now living in fear because these snakes show up unexpectedly to cause havoc. “We don’t know where they are hiding, I guess it is the rain that is making them come out of their holes and we fear for our lives and that of our children, especially now that schools are closed because of the coronavirus lockdown,” said Mrs. Comfort Ajorudon.
It would be recalled that an average of 20,000 cases of snakebites are recorded in Nigeria annually, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said last year in Abuja during the maiden commemoration of the International Snakebite Awareness Day in the country. He said Nigeria was among the countries worst affected by snakebites and it occurs predominantly in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Nasarawa, Plateau, Enugu, Kogi, Kebbi, Oyo, Benue and Taraba states.
According to the minister, the country also records 2,000 deaths and about 1,700 to 2,000 amputations because of snake bites annually.
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