BREAKING: Residents Of Sokoto Community Live At The Mercy Of Snakes

In the scorching sun, Aliyu Sidi, a 47-year-old farmer was working on his farmland when he felt a sharp pain in his left leg. “It happened so fast, I didn’t even realize I had dropped my hoe,” he recounted. “As I looked down, I saw a black cobra snake, known locally as ‘kububuwa’, slithering away through the grass.”....Read The Full Story Here ▶

“I used my shirt to tie the affected area before rushing to the hospital, but unfortunately, I couldn’t receive proper treatment at the Primary Health Center,” he said.

Snake bites are a persistent problem in Dan Zanke village of Isa, with limited access to orthodox medical treatment. This forces victims like Aliyu to seek alternative herbal remedies.

But unlike Aliyu, Balkisu Isa, 43-years old housewife has a more pathetic story to share, recalling how she lost her husband to snake bite as a result of not being properly taken care of in the hospital

Her story highlighted the devastating consequences of inadequate medical care in rural health facilities in Sokoto, a state where poor access to quality healthcare in some communities has exposed residents to vulnerabilities including disease outbreaks.

Her eyes welled up with tears as she recounted the heart-wrenching story of how she lost her beloved husband to a snakebite.

“We rushed him to the hospital, desperate for help, as he was already vomiting and in excruciating pain,’ she continued, her voice cracking with emotion.

“But instead of receiving the urgent care he needed, we were met with a devastating delay. The hospital staff told us it was too late, and there was no doctor available to attend to him.”

Aside from poor facilities, access to health care services has also been hampered with the escalating banditry attacks in the state, while snakebites are yet a common deadly threat.

Balkisu’s husband’s tragic death serves as a stark reminder of the need for improved access to healthcare and the importance of timely medical attention in emergency situations among rural dwellers.

Balkisu continued, ‘We waited anxiously for hours, watching my husband’s condition deteriorate rapidly. It wasn’t until the next day, at around 12 noon, that a doctor finally attended to him.

“By then, it was too late. My husband was vomiting blood, and despite the doctor’s efforts, the injection prescribed couldn’t save him.

“He slipped away from us, leaving me and our children in a state of unbearable grief.”

Similar cases like Bilkisu have resulted in the locals within Isa communities regularly seeking herbal remedies for snake bites due to its accessibility and efficacy to cure the vernons.

Garba Adamu, a local herbalist in Dan Zanke village, said he receives at least three snakebite patients weekly.

Adamu told THE WHISTLER that the frequent occurrence of snake bites incident is so alarming that he advised the locals to be taking preventive measures like throwing of garlic in their environment and avoid bushy areas.

When asked on how he treats his patients, he said, “You see I inherited this job from my father, and I know the necessary measures to take.

“The most important thing is for the patient to be brought in on time, before the venom spreads to other parts of the body.”

Adamu confidently stated that he could identify the type of snake based on the bite wound, adding that some snakes are less deadly or poisonous than others.

Snake bites can have a devastating impact on the human body, leading to a range of systemic effects, including pain and swelling, tissue damage, bleeding, and respiratory failure.

Abubakar Yusuf Ahmed, a medical practitioner in Sokoto State said, snake bites can be deadly or result in serious health complications if not treated promptly.

“In some instances, snake bites can even lead to kidney damage,” he said.

Yusuf also stressed the importance of seeking proper medical attention instead of relying on traditional herbs, stating that some of these herbs are reactive to the human body system while in some cases some are administered without proper dosage.

“The first line of treatment for snake bites is to administer antivenin, which will neutralize the venom released by the snake.

“However, in cases of complications such as excessive bleeding, kidney damage, or paralysis, more comprehensive treatment is necessary,” he advised.

Yusuf reiterated that timely medical attention is crucial in preventing serious complications and long-term effects.

“It is essential to seek medical help immediately if you are bitten by a snake, as prompt treatment can significantly reduce the risk of severe consequences, ” he said.

Rilwan Sabo, a Sokoto based public health Analyst noted that snake bites largely affects the most vulnerable members of society – often those living in remote rural areas.

“Farmers and people living in poorly constructed homes and often have limited access to health care, and even footwear face the highest risk of snake bites,” he revealed.

He said Nigeria is among countries worst affected by snake bites, reaching epidemic proportions of 497 cases per 100,000 people.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 4.5 to 5.4 million snake bites occur annually, resulting in 1.8 to 2.7 million cases of envenoming, and 81,000 to 130,000 deaths.

In Nigeria, the most common venomous snakes are the puff adder, carpet viper, and cobra, according to health experts.

The incidence of snake bites is reported to be 497 per 100,000 population yearly, with a 12% mortality rate, and carpet vipers accounting for at least 66% of cases in certain areas.

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