Minors, bitten by snakes in rat holes, fill Langtang hospital
Zamko Comprehensive Health Centre in Langtang North Local government area of Plateau State is filled with children, aged between seven and 10, whose little fingers have been bitten by snakes in rat holes.
It is observed that the children, some with bandages on their fingers, constituted a bulk of the patients in the hospital.
It was learnt that most of the victims were from the Langtang area, while others were from neighbouring local governments.
The hospital’s medical officer, Dr. Nyam Azi, who spoke on the situation yesterday, said that 280 victims were received in the last two months, with November 2016 accounting for the highest figure of 210.
The official said that 25 cases were received in the last three weeks, but that one person had died because his case was presented “too late.”
According to him, the children go in search of rats and get bitten by snakes when they dip their fingers into rat holes that had been taken over by snakes.
Azi, a medical doctor with Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), who is on a rural posting to the Zamko Health Centre, said that the hospital had also received adult victims of snakebites.
“For the adults, the situation was worse during the harvest season because people went to the farms without putting on boots and gloves,” he said.
Azi said that the hospital was “struggling” to cope, and thanked the Federal Government for providing 100 vials of anti-snake venom.
“But we get lots of cases and the vials given by government are not sufficient; during the hot season, the 100 vials can be exhausted in five days,” he said.
He said that a vial of anti-snake venom costs N27, 000 and explained that many victims, who could not afford that amount, usually seek alternative treatments.
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