Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Snakes kill three farmers in Adamawa, bite 13 others

Next is reporting the following story on snakebites in Nigeria
August 12, 2011 07:57AM

Three farmers have died as a result of snakebite in Shuwa village in Madagali local government area of Adamawa, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Thirteen other persons have also been hospitalised and treated for snakebites at the Christian Health Centre, Shuwa, in the last two weeks, according to residents.

NAN learnt that large numbers of poisonous snakes are on the loose in Kwajiti, Dzuyal, Paalam and Shuwa villages due to the mountainous nature of the environment.

The growing density of snakes has been exposing communities to incessant attacks, especially during the rainy season when the snakes move about in the open.

At least 35 persons were killed and 143 others treated of snakebites during the last cropping season in the area.

Most of the victims, including women and children, were attacked while working in the farms or while at home.

Some villagers, who spoke with NAN in Shuwa, urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide snake repellents and anti-snake injections to facilitate the quick treatment of victims.

Suleiman Duhu, the sole administrator of Shuwa Development Area, said the authority had expended more than ₦1.4 million to procure anti-snake injections for the treatment of patients in the last one year.

"The rate of snakebites is alarming and beyond our control. We are sponsoring the patients for treatment at the Christian Health Centre, Shuwa.

"We are calling for assistance from NEMA and other health related bodies to control the disaster," Mr Duhu said.

He also accused the Adamawa State Ministry of Health of neglect in spite of formal complaints lodged before it on the development.

"The ministry had promised to provide hand gloves, rain boot, snake repellents and other preventive kits, but it is yet to redeem its pledge.

"We are calling on the NEMA and the state government to come to our rescue and control the spate of destruction of lives by the snakes," he added.

A farmer, Gambo Turai, told NAN that the snakes were making life unbearable for the residents.

"We are living in perpetual fear of working in the farm or even staying at home because you do not know when the snakes will strike.

"Many people have lost their lives to the snakes," Mr Turai said and called for urgent measures to control the situation.

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