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Serpent strikes, kills man on farm

By Irissheel Shanzu | January 26th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

A 41-year-old man died after a snake bite in Kasei ward, Karokou village, West Pokot County.

The serpent struck as Thomas Kapel was clearing bushes on his farm.

He died after walking for about 9km to Kasei Dispensary.

West Pokot county executive for Health Geofrey Lipale said they recorded 11 cases of snake bites last year and called for urgent intervention to save lives.

He noted that most victims are bitten by snakes as they clear bushes on farms where the snakes inhabit. “Drought also contributes to frequent snake bites since the reptiles also go to the water points used by residents,” he said.

He challenged the Forestry department to apprehend the locals who engage in logging which destroys places that snakes inhabit.

Mr Lipale noted that most residents associate snake bites with witch craft and they seek herbal medicine which leads to deaths.

Not supposed to walk

“The victims do not know that they are not supposed to walk after a snake bite because the venom spreads faster. The man died because he walked for more than 2 hours to reach the nearest health centre,” he said.

Lipale regretted that treatment is a challenge because in most cases the health workers cannot identify the snake that attacked the patient.

“Ideally one is supposed to seek treatment within six hours to stop the negative effects of envenoming,” he said.  

Lokori Thomas, a resident urged the county government to sensitise locals on the importance of seeking medical attention.

“At some point people don’t seek medical attention because they believe when a snake bites it has been sent by a witch doctor to kill them and they end up treating themselves with herbal medicines which do not help,” Mr Lokori said.

He said that anti-venom is out of stock. 

West Pokot County Thomas Kapel
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