Baringo County holds forums to address upsurge of snake bites

Owing to upsurge cases of snake bites Baringo County health department of health has rolled out awareness programme to address the menace.

County Chief Officer for Public Health Winnie Bore led the sensitization forums at AIC Church Poi in Saimo-Kipsaraman ward, Baringo North on Thursday.

“The programme is intended to keep locals informed on how they would reduce the cases of snake bites and handle the situation once someone falls victims” Bore said.

So far at least 140 people including school children have been killed by snakebites up to December 2017.

This is according to Gilbert nature- a Non-Governmental Organization dealing with wildlife who said a number of victims have also become physically challenged.

More than 40 victims are currently admitted to health centres in Tiaty, Baringo South, Mogotio, Baringo North and Baringo central sub-counties respectively.

However, the forum saw over 500 residents trained and given basic skills on how to lessen the chances of being bitten by snakes and also first aid methods. Dr Bore estimated that 300-500 people are bitten by Snakes monthly in Baringo.

She added that as a department they will increase the number of health workers working in snake prone regions so that they can be in a Position to respond to such incidences in good time.

“Poi has the highest cases of Snake bites in the entire County with nearly every family having been affected” she said

At the same time, she also revealed that there are also plans to purchase motorbikes which will be stationed in health facilities which have recorded a huge number of snake bite cases.

"We have also managed to train our health workers on how to administer anti-snake venom drugs on patients to avert incidences which might have prevented" she said adding that all health facilities in snake prone areas have been stocked with the drugs.

"This means that any victim of snakebite can be treated with the drugs since it was manufactured from venom collected from different snakes" he said.

Representatives from the Kenya Wild Services were also present and they took the residents through ways to follow when they are following up for compensations.

However, locals complained that the process of Compensation was like a pipedream for them since not even a single victim of snakebite has been compensated in the area since time immemorial.

Reuben Kisang a resident and also a victim of snake bite expressed optimism that there will be a reduction in the incidences.

Saimo Kipsaraman ward MCA John Aengwo said that there was need to bring on board all stakeholders so that they can sensitize locals on how to deal with venomous snakes.

He further urged the county government to deploy more health staff in the area to help combat the rising cases of Snake bites.