A member of the House of Representatives, Hon Timothy Golu, has said that 85 persons have been bitten by snakes in Kanke and Kanam council areas of Plateau State in the last two weeks as a result of flood in the area.
Golu stated this in Jos yesterday during an interview with journalists .
He said out of the affected 85 persons, some had died while others are now in critical conditions.
He added that some of the victims are on admission in various hospitals and traditional snake treating homes in the state.
Golu said that 13 victims were at Zamko Clinic in Langtang, 20 in traditional healers’ treatment homes, seven in herbalists’ centres, while some visit the centres for daily treatment owing to lack of bed space.
He said, “Some have even been treated and discharged, but a woman at my place, who has been treated and discharged, still has pus gushing from the bitten spot and we have advised her to return to the hospital for fresh checks. We are worried that something worse may result from the wound if not properly treated because she is already limping.”
The lawmaker described the situation as very scary and pathetic, saying that the snakes, which move openly and always in pairs, were washed into the communities by flood.
He said, “As the flood pushed them from the over- flown tributaries of Rivers Benue and Niger, some snakes climbed trees, others entered holes while some just held onto any available straw and all of them later descended into residences and farms where they have been wrecking havoc.”
He said that the commonest species were the black mamba, carpet viper and cobra, saying that most of the victims usually depend on luck to survive.
Golu therefore urged the federal and Plateau state governments to treat the snake invasion as a national medical emergency concern and accord it the same response given to HIV/AIDS and the Ebola virus.