Nigeria records an average of 15,000 to 20,000 cases of snakebite every year, the federal government has said.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Adeleke Mamora, stated this on Monday during a press briefing organised by the ministry to mark this year’s International Snakebite Awareness Day.
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The theme of this year’s commemoration is ‘Snakebite Envenoming: Increase Partnerships, Coordination and Responses’.
Quoting a recent survey, he said snakebites in the country occur at 479 cases per 100,000 people.
He said, “Nigeria records an average of 15,000-20,000 cases of snakebite every year, with about 2,000 people killed and between 1,700 and 2,000 people whose leg or arm is amputated to save their lives after snakebite.”
Mamora said states with the most cases of snakebite in the country are Gombe, Plateau, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Nasarawa, Enugu, Kogi, Kebbi, Oyo, Benue and Taraba.
He called for renewed vigour to ensure strong partnerships among member states, development partners, donors and other stakeholders for snakebite management.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Alhaji Mahmoud Mamman, said from 2018 to December 2020, over 45,834 cases of snakebite and 1,793 deaths were reported in Nigeria.
He added that some cases still remained unreported because they were not reported to any health facility.
“It is in view of this that we are collaborating with our stakeholders and partners in an integrated manner to control, prevent and treat snakebites so as to achieve the global target,” Mamman said.
The Director of Public Health in the ministry, Dr Alex Okoh said, in Africa, an estimated 1 million snakebites occur annually with half needing treatment, adding that injuries from snakebites are found among women, children and farmers in poor rural communities.