Nigeria Loses 2,000 to Snakebites Annually

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By Segun Awofadeji

No fewer than 2,500 persons die annually in Nigeria as a result of snakebites, Nigeria Snakebite Research and Intervention Centre (N-SRIC) has revealed.

Apart from death cases, according to the institute, Nigeria, also, annually records over 25,000 snakebites, out of which 2,300 resulted in amputation.

The figure came up yesterday at a session between the Gombe State Government and the delegation of N-SRIC at the Government House, Gombe.

The state governor, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya hosted the delegation comprising N-SRIC’s team leader, Prof. Abdulrazak Habib and a retired federal permanent secretary, Dr. Ibrahim Jalo Daudu, among others.

At the session, Habib revealed that snakebite “is a major problem in the tropics, causing over 125,000 deaths globally and at least 20,000 deaths in Africa yearly.

“Nigeria records over 25,000 bites, 2000 deaths and 2300 amputations yearly mostly among farmers. Most affected states include Gombe, Taraba, Bauchi, Adamawa, Plateau, Benue, Kebbi, Kogi, Borno and Enugu.”

During the meeting, Yahaya said the state government had partnered N-SRIC to combat the menace of snakebite in Kaltungo and the state in general.

The governor, also, revealed plans to partner with the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and North East Development Commission (NEDC) in order to end the scourge of snakebite in the state.

Yahaya said he was ready to support the institute with a view to ensuring that the scourge of snakebite “is checked to barest minimum in Gombe state and even beyond.”

He added that he would champion the cause of the snakebite campaign through protecting and promoting the institute’s objectives at all fora.

He said: ”Aside from the intervention of Gombe State, I will also ensure propagating the institute’s objectives, priorities and interest at forum such as Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), North East Development Commission (NEDC) and similar other bodies and seek support to push for this cause.”

He, therefore, thanked the snakebite research institute for recognising him to champion the campaign.