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5 important things you must do to survive a snake bite in Nigeria

It’s snake season. Find out how to survive a snake bite.

Snakebite is an injury caused by a bite from a snake, often resulting in puncture wounds inflicted by the snake and sometimes envenomation.

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Can you survive a snake bite without treatment?

Surviving a snake bite depends on certain factors which include:

  • The specie of the snake involved,
  • Area of the body bitten,
  • Amount of venom injected,
  • Health condition of the person bitten.

How long does it take to feel the effects of a snake bite?

Depending on the type of snake involved, individuals must access medical attention between 24 – 48 hours.

How to survive a snake bite in Nigeria

5 things you need to do if you get bitten by a snake:

In a media dialogue on Neglected Tropical diseases organized by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Ibadan Nigeria, Fatai Oyediran the Deputy Director Snakebite Envenoming Program, Public Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health listed the tips below as very crucial for surviving a snake bite;

1). Do not run or try to move: 

The major mistake people make when they get bitten by a snake is to start running and also panicking.

When you run or start walking faster, your blood is being circulated. This will make the blood get to your brain quickly thereby causing shock.

You need to stay still and get the people around you to help you. If your alone, call for help.

A person bitten by a snake needs to be immobilized. – Lay them down and gently carry them. Do not allow them to walk.


ALSO READ: 6 Things You Need To Know About Neglected Tropical Diseases In Nigeria

2). Tie the snake bite area lightly:

Tie the area where you have the snake bite. Do not tie tightly and do not knot.

This helps to prevent the venom from moving through your system.

Do NOT tie with woods.

  • If you were been bitten on your head, neck or torso, you don’t need to tie it.

3) Do not SUCK:

Do not suck the bite area with your mouth. You may suck it and end up swallowing the venom.

4). Do Not Wash:

Some olden days practices encourage washing the snake bite to wash out the venom. Please do not engage in this because in doing so, you might end up washing the venom which will be needed at the hospital to identify the type of snake that bit you and the exact type of anti-venom to use.

5). Do not catch the snake:

Do not try to capture the snake that bit you. You may end up in grave danger.

A snake can sense when he/she thinks it’s in danger and is always ready to attack.

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6). Go to the nearest hospital for the anti-venom:

Proceed to the nearest hospital for a dose of anti-venom. If you are lucky, the hospital might be able to get one from any of the six anti-venom centers in Nigeria.

Nigeria records 15,000 snakebite cases annually and the Federal Government of Nigeria procures not more than 5,000 Anti-Venom annually.

From the figures above, you can see that the anti-venom we have in Nigeria is not enough to treat the number of officially recorded snake bite cases we have. Therefore, it’s important that we need to take adequate measures to stay safe.


How To Naturally Repel Snakes

Snakes are very important for the ecosystem but at the same time, harmful for humans.

If you live in an area prone to snakes, below are the best ways to naturally repel snakes.

1). Rose Plants With Thongs

Planting rose plants around your house also helps to keep snakes away.

Because of the thongs in the rose plants, the snakes find it difficult to meander around. It hurts their skin.

2) Cats:

Keeping cats as pets is another way to keep snakes away. Cats are not friends with rats and snakes.

3) Camphor

In Nigeria, camphor is used primarily to make clothes smell fresh, keep away cockroaches and also freshen up the toilet and bathroom.

Camphor can also be used in repelling snakes.

Throw them around your compound and you won’t see a single snake until the melt-away. You need to put them in large quantities and be sure to replenish them every three months.


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Planting lemongrass around your house is one of the easiest ways to keep snakes away.

The lemon grass has a strong citrusy smell and snakes hate it because it is too strong for them.

5) Pigs

Rearing pigs also repels snakes. Though I wouldn’t recommend this because of the pungent smell from pig rearing.

Kanyi Daily News recently reported the story of a woman who slept off in her garden and woke up feeling very uncomfortable. She went to the hospital and you can watch the Shocking Moment Doctors pulled out a 4 feet snake from the woman’s throat.


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Meanwhile, Snakeskin clothes and accessories are seen as being very glamorous – but the factories where the animals are killed and skinned to make them are not.

One such slaughterhouse can be found in the village of Cirebon, Indonesia.

There, workers skin and kill snakes in their thousands every week, with huge mounds of snakes dotted around the floor in various stages of treatment…Click the link below to see the pictures..

PHOTOS: Inside the Indonesian slaughter house where snakes are skinned to make designer handbags, jackets and shoes


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