Wednesday 8 August 2018


THE Ministry of Health and Child Care has said 24 cases of snake bites were recorded in one week countrywide at a time anti-venom continues to be in short supply.

Snakes are coming out of hibernation as the country is moving away from the winter season. In a tweet posted on the ministry’s official twitter account, no deaths were reported for the 24 bites, the latest figures the Ministry recorded.

“The total snake bite cases reported during the week ending 15 July 2018 are 24 and no death,” reads the tweet.

In an interview, Mpilo Central Hospital Clinical Director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya said the hospital had not recorded a sharp increase in snake bites cases but urged people to be on high alert as the hibernation season was over.

He said anti venom for snakes was in short supply across the country as it was an imported drug. “Anti-venom is a specialised medicine. It needs forex to be imported. It’s in short supply due to the unavailability of foreign currency,” said Dr Ngwenya.
“Government has been helping us as the health sector has been given first priority when availing foreign currency. However, it is still difficult as the little foreign currency available would not be adequate for drugs and equipment needing to be imported.”

Dr Ngwenya advised people to continue using traditional methods to repel snakes.
“Use old time methods, they work. Burn tyres and other methods to keep away snakes from homesteads. Clear bushes and ensure that you do not walk around barefoot outside at night. Snakes are very dangerous and the survival chances after bites from snakes such as the black mamba are very slim. People must be careful,” he said.

He urged the public to seek medical attention as soon as possible after being attacked by a snake and desist from trying home remedies first. He, however encouraged the public to render first aid to snake bite victims whilst ferrying them to hospital. Chronicle


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