Nigeria records about 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 Monday during a press briefing organised by the ministry to mark this year’s International Snakebite Awareness Day.
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Quoting a recent survey, the minister said snakebite in the country occurred with 479 per 100,000 people.
He said, “Nigeria records an average of 15,000 to 20,000 cases of snakebite every year, with about 2,000 people killed and between 1,700 and 2,000 people have their leg or arm amputated to save their lives after snakebite.”
Dr Mamora said states with the most cases of snakebite were Gombe, Plateau, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Nasarawa, Enugu, Kogi, Kebbi, Oyo, Benue and Taraba.
He, therefore, called for renewed effort to ensure strong partnerships among member states of the scourge, development partners, donors and other stakeholders on snakebite management.
The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, 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.
The Director of Public Health in the ministry, Dr Alex Okoh, said in Africa an estimated one million snakebites occurred annually with half needing treatment.
Meanwhile, the Benue State Government, said it would henceforth bear the cost of treating snakebite victims in the state.
Gov Samuel Ortom said the move would help reduce the burden of the cost of treatment on the victims.
He spoke on Sunday at the St Theresa’s Catholic Church, Makurdi, during a fundraising appeal for intervention in schools and hospitals.
He recalled that his partnership with the Bishop Murray Hospital in Makurdi for the treatment of snakebite patients had saved many lives.
By Ojoma Akor, Seun Adeuyi & Hope A. Emmanuel, Makurdi