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Snakebite Kills 2,000 Persons Every Year In Nigeria-Minister

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Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga is a graduate of Mass Communication and aspiring investigative journalist.

NIGERIA: About 20,000 cases of snake bites are recorded in Nigeria every year.

This was made known by the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora during a press briefing in this year’s International Snakebite Awareness Day (ISBAD) in Abuja.

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Mamora stated that roughly 2,000 persons die from snakebites every year and above 1,700 lose their legs or arms as a result of snakebite incidents in Nigeria.

States with the most recorded cases of snake bites are Gombe, Plateau, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Nasarawa, Enugu, Kogi, Kebbi, Oyo, Benue, and Taraba state.

What is ISBAD all about?

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International Snakebite Awareness Day is held on the 19th of September every year, this is to serve as an opportunity to create and educate masses about the danger associated with snakes in the society. The day started being celebrated in 2018.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), snakebite mostly affects the less privileged members of the society, like those living in rural communities.

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WHO added that farmers and people living in unkempt homes often face the most dangerous and have limited or no access at all to education, proper healthcare facilities and footwear.

Snake treatment

Mamora said snakebite poisoning, known as envenomation or envenom, has since been the problem of the general public in terms of cure and preventing it from spreading when it bites in Nigeria, mostly in rural areas.

Carpet Viper is the one responsible for about 90 percent of bites and 60 percent deaths, therefore, snakebites in Nigeria show up at 497 instances per 100,000 people, Mamora added.

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Attributing to the extreme rainfall in Nigeria this year, the Minister said that more morbidity and deaths are connected with inadequate quantities of antisnake-venom.

However, Nigeria is among the countries worst affected by snakebites, reaching epidemic levels.

About snakebite globally

Five million people around the world suffer from snakebite, 2.5 million from snake poisoning, 100,000 persons die of snakebite, and 300,000 suffered from permanent disabilities all attributed to snake bites every year,” Mamora disclosed.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Mamman Mahmuda in his address said that from January 2018 to December 2020, more than 45,834 cases of snakebites and 1,793 deaths have been recorded.

But he lamented that some cases of snake bites remained unnoticed because they were not reported to the healthcare centres.

“These numbers emphasize the need for the Nigerian government to invest more in creating additional ways to better, effective and cheap anti-snake venom to treat victims, especially in the rural area”, Mahmuda emphasized.

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