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How Women Are Losing Pregnancies In Plateau To Snakebites

Carpet vipers are terrorising residents including pregnant women in Plateau State and other states in the Middle Belt, writes The Punch's Friday Olokor.

15-year-old primary school dropout, Saljul Nansak, from Kaplak in the Langtang North area of Plateau State, manages to eke out a living through grazing. On Friday July 27 when he took the cattle for grazing, he had no inkling that danger lurked around...

Hardly had he commenced his mission of scattering the cows on an expansive land when a snake bit him. He writhed in pains all alone and cried himself hoarse.

It however took time before help came his way. But despite the anti-venom administered on him twice, his blood couldn’t clot because of the severity of the snake poison in his system.

For now, how to survive is the priority of Mansak who is lying on a bed at the Comprehensive Health Centre, Zamko, in Lantang council area. The health facility is an annex of the Jos University Teaching Hospital.

He could only mumble few words when our correspondent approached him with an interpreter on Thursday. Mansak said he wanted to continue schooling but there was no money.

He stated, “I had to work for my father for us to be able to survive. I was in the bush with the cattle when I was bitten by a snake. I believe I will be well because the doctors said I am responding to treatment. But I know that while doctors cure, God heals.”

He is among the 13 snakebite victims currently receiving treatment at the JUTH annex in Zamko, which, according to its medical officer, Dr. Nyam Azi, received about 430 cases in the last eight months. Out of the cases, nine patients were said to have died.

Snakebites aborted pregnancies —Health worker 
A community health extension worker in the Accident and Emergency Department of JUTH annex in Zamko, Nanna Nashal, told Punch that the situation was worrisome because some women had lost their pregnancies to snakebites and others lost their lives.

Nashal said, “A few days ago, a child was brought into the hospital. He was vomiting blood. Many times, pregnant women come into the hospital and most times, snakebites have aborted many pregnancies. We have witnessed 10 cases where snakebites aborted pregnancies and some of the pregnant women lost their lives. This year, about five women lost their pregnancies to snakebites.’’