Enugu, Kogi, 10 others make list of states with most cases of snakebites

Nigeria’s minister of health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, has said that 12 states out of the 36 states in the country have the most cases of snakebites.
black mamba

The states according to the minister include Gombe, Plateau, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Nasarawa, Enugu, Kogi, Kebbi, Oyo, Benue and Taraba states.

Mamora disclosed this at a press briefing to mark the 2021 International Snakebite Awareness Day in Abuja on Monday, September 20.

He said that an average of 20,000 cases of snakebites is recorded in Nigeria every year, the minister of state for health.

The minister said about 2,000 people die annually from snakebites while over 1,700 individuals lose their legs or arm as a result of snake bite.

Findings by Lafiya360 shows that since 2018, International Snakebite Awareness Day (ISBAD) is commemorated on September 19, to represent an opportunity for everyone to raise awareness on one of the world’s biggest hidden health crises. 

According to Mamora,  Snakebite “poisoning”, known as envenomation has long been a public health problem in Nigeria, especially in rural areas.

“The Cobra or Naja nigricolis, the Puff Adder or Bitis arietans and the Carpet Viper or Echis ocellatus; snakebite affects the lives of many people and most of the victims are rural women, children, peasant farmers, herdsmen and hunters.” Mamora said.

He added that a more recent survey conducted in 2013 by Habib et al indicates that snakebites in Nigeria occur at 497 cases per 100,000 people. 

“The Carpet Viper is the one responsible for most, about 90 per cent of bites and 60 per cent of snakebite deaths,” he said.

Mamora also noted that snakebite occurs mainly during planting and harvest seasons when people go about their work in the farm or bushes. 

“The cases increased recently as a result of excessive rainfall, leading to more morbidity and deaths connected with inadequate quantities of Antisnake-venom. 

He noted that unfortunately Nigeria was among countries worst affected by snakebites, reaching epidemic proportions. 

“About 5 million people in the world are bitten every year by snakes. Up to 2.5 million people that suffer poisoning or envenomation.

“At least 100,000 of them died from the bites and about 300,000 amputated or suffer other permanent disabilities caused by snake bites. 

“In Africa, about 1 million snake bites occur yearly with half of them requiring treatment as Nigeria supports efforts to bring attention to snakebite and envenomation and the process leading to recognition of snakebite as a Neglected Tropical Disease(NTD),” he explained . 

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Mamman Mahmuda noted that from January 2018 to December 2020, over 45,834 cases of snakebite and 1793 deaths were reported in the country. 

Mahmuda said that some cases still remain unreported due to the fact that they were not reported to the health facility.

He said the figure underscore the government’s determination to improve access to safe, effective and affordable anti snake venom to treat victims and why the country was seriously pursuing steps towards local production of anti-snake venom.

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