Kenya intends to produce the first anti-venom in East Africa in a bid to curb the bulging deaths arising from snakebites.
A group of researchers are in the process of developing the snakebite cure in the next five years to save hundreds of Kenyans who die each year from the venomous reptile.
According to documents seen by AL Jazeera, snakebites are responsible for the deaths of over 700 Kenyans every year.
Most of the victims lack access to medical healthcare, while a majority of the hospitals and dispensary lack the requisite drugs to deal with the menace.
According to the researchers, snakebites have become rampant in the country are as a result of the sustained encroachment into the habitat of wild animals.
Those of you who tuned in to our Facebook LIVE broadcast last week may remember that we promised you some epic, slo-mo footage of a puff adder striking a balloon … well … here it is! Puff adders can strike with remarkable speed (faster than we can blink!), so it helps to slow down the action to see what's really going on. When hunting larger prey, like a rodent, puff adders will strike, envenomate and release their target in less than a second. A speedy attack means less chance of the prey fighting back and potentially injuring the snake. A potent cytotoxic venom gets to work quickly destroying cells and ultimately killing the prey. Of course, it's not instant, so puff adders must track their kill before they can enjoy the spoils. Envenomated prey leaves a specific scent trail that the snakes will follow to get at their prize.For more puff adder facts and info, check out last week's #SnakeCity live video: https://www.facebook.com/snakesinthecityfanpage/videos/1298106936981797/
Posted by Snake City Fans on Wednesday, 27 September 2017
This has exposed the snakes to fight back in attacks that have seen several Kenyans lose their lives.
One of the most dangerous snakes identified by the researchers is the puff adder.
The puff adder is said to be able to camouflage on the ground as well as on trees and strikes very fast whenever it feels threatened.
Kenya is developing East Africa’s first snake antivenom. pic.twitter.com/VND26loaTN
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) November 4, 2019
Beth Mwende- a woman whose infant was bitten by a snake told the reporters that his child’s fingers had to be amputated after they began to rot.
The researchers plan to catch as many snakes and extract their venom for the purposes of developing the anti-venom.
Should they be successful, East Africa’s first anti-venom would have originated from the Kenyan researchers.