At least 25 cases of snakebites, including 12 fatalities have been confirmed in some parts of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State affected by floods between August and October, officials say.
Tuau Mou Aguot, Aweil South County Executive Director told Radio Tamazuj in an interview that he has so far recorded ten cases of snake bites between August and October, six of which have died and four are seeking medication at the county health facility.
“As floods intensify in Aweil South County, six people have died and more others are wounded when habitations filled with floodwaters carrying deadly animals and creatures such as snakes,” said Aguot.
He said most of those incidents were reported from various villages of Gier-ich, Amech-rol, War-ayok, and Aberngihch of Panthou and Aduet Payam, which are mostly affected by floods.
In Aweil North County, William Deng Mou, the County Executive Director said they have also registered ten cases of snake bites including dead and others seven are undergoing treatment.
“We have only ten people being bitten by snakes, three people passed away and the other seven are alive in Malual East and Malual North,” said Mou.
The local official further cited a lack of medicines related to snake bites in the healthcare centers as a major challenge facing the local population.
John Garang Aguot, the Aweil West County Executive Director said his county has recorded five cases of snakebites with three fatalities.
“We have one case in Pan-tiit, the person is alive and two people in Marial Baai are dead. One person in Wungueng is alive while another one in the side of Angol along the river died. We do not have medicines for snake bites,’’ Aguot said.
For his part, Chan Awier, the Director-General in the ministry of health in Northern Bahr el Ghazal said they have recorded more than ten people confirmed dead as a result of snakebites at Aweil North and Aweil West where they visited recently.
“We had a field visit to the flood-affected areas. So when we reached especially in Aweil West and Aweil North, they reported about ten cases of snake bites in which those people all passed away,’’ he said.
The health official further said the numbers of snake bites are high in the state because they lack antivenom medication.
Chan said the new medical consignment dispatched by the national ministry of health to the state does not contain antivenom medicines.
He explained that the ministry requested the specific drugs to no avail.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), snakebite envenoming is responsible for thousands of deaths among rural populations globally every year.