Ilorin Res­i­dents Cry Out For Help As Snakes Take Over City

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Abio­dun Fagbemi, Ilorin

RES­I­DENTS of Ilorin, the Kwara state cap­i­tal have ex­pressed con­cerns and wor­ries over re­cent up­surge in the quan­tity of snakes around the town.

The de­vel­op­ment ac­cord­ing to The­guardian sources showed that at least three pa­tients are at present re­ceiv­ing treat­ments at the Univer­sity of Ilorin Teach­ing Hospi­tal (UITH), from snake bites. Be­sides, the state's Gen­eral Hospi­tal along Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Ilorin, has some pa­tients on ad­mis­sion over snakebites re­lated cases.

A teacher at the Univer­sity of Ilorin, depart­ment of Ge­og­ra­phy, Ab­dul­ra­heem Ji­moh at­trib­uted the in­crease in the num­ber of snakes to heavy rains that have led to the dis­lodge­ment of the snakes from their nat­u­ral habi­tat.

But a source un­der con­di­tion of anonymity at the Kwara State En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (KWEPA), said the de­vel­op­ment could not be di­vorced from un­kempt and bushy en­vi­ron­ments.

One of the pa­tients on ad­mis­sion at the UITH was said to have suf­fered a high de­gree of snakebite while at­tempt­ing to pluck fo­liage from a 'Do­gon­yaro' tree for prepa­ra­tion of malaria herbs.

For­mer Chair­man of Com­mu­nity Phar­ma­cists of Nige­ria (PCN), Kwara state chap­ter, Ba­batunde Sa­muel de­plored the scarcity of anti snake vac­cines in Nige­ria, not­ing that the de­vel­op­ment could en­gen­der high mor­tal­ity/mor­bid­ity rate in per­sons bit­ten by the rep­tile.

Sa­muel, who apart from see­ing the vac­cines as very ex­or­bi­tant for the peas­ants, "who are most prone to the at­tacks," said the need to have the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of the NAFDAC be­fore they could be dis­pensed has fur­ther made the ven­oms very scarce to pro­cure, "es­pe­cially dur­ing emer­gency needs."

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