Snakebite envenomation in Benue state: A study of prevalence and treatment in Agatu local government area, Benue state- Nigeria

  • R Malik
  • G Ada
  • C.A Udeh
Keywords: Snake, snakebite, envenomation, rural dwellers


Although snakebites envenomation occurs frequently in Agatu Local Government area of Benue State-Nigeria, the prevalence has not been documented. This study was carried out to determine the prevalence, morbidity, mortality and management principle of the snakebite in Agatu Local Government area through retrospective data obtained from victims of snakebite covering a period of ten years (2011 –2020). Results revealed that 51.4% of snakebite victims were male while 48.6% were female. Rainy season recorded the highest cases with 60.5% while dry season was 39.5%. Body parts mostly accounted for snakebite was leg with 81.6% while the least was head with 1.6%. The aged range of 40 to 49 (30.3%) had the highest snakebite cases while the aged >70 (1.1%) had the least. Most of the victims were bitten by Puff adder (27.6%) while the least were bitten by Atracstaspis spp (4.9%). Monthly record of snakebites indicates that July had the highest occurrence 17.3% while the least was in December 1.6%. Most of the respondents were Secondary school leavers (43.1%) while non formal education had the least respondents (16.2%). Most of the victims were farmers 35.1% while the least were traders (17.3%). The ten years record of snakebite envenomation indicates that 2017 (15.7%) had the highest record of the incidence while the least was in 2010 (1.1%). Most victims 98.9% sought care from traditional healers while 0.5% of cases reported to health facilities and others (Jerusalem stone and prayer houses) respectively. Despite the high stable morbidity indicated, there was absence of fatality throughout the study period. Thus, predispose Agatu people towards their traditional snakebite treatment methods as a legitimate treatment for snakebite in their community.

Key words: Snake, snakebite, envenomation, rural dwellers


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print ISSN: 2141-1778