Nigeria: Bauchi Community Records 47 Snake Bites in Seven Months

2 December 2020

Adamu Suleiman, Secretary, Duguri Ward Development Committee (WDC), in Alkaleri Local Government Area (LGA) of Bauchi State, says the community recorded about 42 snake bites from May to November 2020.

Mr Suleiman said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Duguri, adding that snake bites had become rampant in the community, threatening the daily existence of the people.

Mr Suleiman attributed the existence of snakes in the community to its closeness to the Yankari National Park.

"Snake bites are becoming too rampant in Duguri because they migrate to the community due to its closeness to Yankari.

"From May to November 2020, five persons died after they were bitten by snakes and they arrived late at the hospital, while 37 persons were diagnosed and treated in hospitals in Gombe and Plateau.

"Other cases were treated by traditional healers.

"Farmers have resorted to using rain boots, hand gloves and eye glasses to protect themselves while on the farm and residents are vigilant at home," he said.

He said that although the authorities have been fumigating the area with chemicals, the problem had persisted.

"We sprayed the environment, but that has not yielded any result," he said.

Mr Suleiman expressed sadness over the cost of treatment, adding that the residents were mostly peasant farmers with little income.

"Victims of snake bites have to travel to either Plateau or Kaltungo in Gombe State for treatment," he said.

He said that the WDC has always advocated for an harmonious relationship between medical personnel and traditional healers in the community for prompt first aid treatment.

He called on the state government to commence clinical services on snake bites in the area.

Speaking to NAN, 20 years old Rabi Duguri, a victim of snake bite, described the situation as terrible.

"I was in the farm and something bit me not knowing that it was a snake until after three days, by which time the venom had circulated in my body.

"So far, we have spent N200,000 for treatment within eight weeks, but the venom is still much in my system.

"I am calling on the government and good people of Bauchi State to help me as my leg is already peeling away," she said.

Also, Ado Saleh, another victim said that he spent N38,000 for treatment in Plateau.

NAN reports that Duguri is 61 kilometres from Bauchi City.

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