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People of Lafon County Live In Fear of Snakebite

A patient who lost her foot and lower leg due to a snakebite that was not treated on time awaits surgery at the MSF hospital in Agok.
A patient who lost her foot and lower leg due to a snakebite that was not treated on time awaits surgery at the MSF hospital in Agok(Photo credit: MSF/Nyamilepedia)

Oct 24, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s Lafon County is alarmed by recent increase in snakes related death toll. A report from the county commissioner, Hon. Okach Magiso Agweri Uwaro, indicates that at least a couple have died in the recent weeks after snakes attacked people on the roads between villages and Lafon County Headquarters.

“Early this month, a number of snake bites cases have been reported to the county authority which cause general panic to local population.” Hon. Okach told Nyamilepedia

According to Hon. Okach, all the reported incidents were treated using traditional medicines because there are no possible means to bring patients to health facility in Lafon centre where further medical attention could have been made.

Like many parts of South Sudan, Lafon is experiencing heavy downpours of rains and flood causing road accessibility to drastically deteriorate.

“Roads connecting the county to Torit as the State HQs are full of flood waters and are inaccessible making life more difficult for the people.” The county commissioner said.

“In some scenario where a community could mobilize able-bodied youth, they could carry patients on shoulders all that long way through to PHCC in Lafon Centre. Many patients lost their lives on the way before reaching health facility. Some patients could reach the facility when cases were already beyond control.” The county commissioner continued.

 According to the commissioner, a young woman who was identified as Margaret Ayinda Adit, age 20 years old from Kurumi Payam, was trying to bring her 8 months old baby to Lafon Centre for medical service when she was attacked by a big snake on the way.

“The incident happened on 21st October at around mid-day. A woman with whom she moved could not help the situation but to rescue the child and rushed with for safety while making alarm as she ran by calling people for help. The woman instantly passed away on the spot.” Commissioner Okach said.

“Snakes are very many this time. They live either on thick grasses or ant hills or sneak on roofs of grass thatched houses making people live under fear.” He continued.

According to Okach, a similar incident happened on 12th of September at around 11 am when a young man who was later identified as Paul Umoli Ukok collapsed and died instantly in the flood waters on his way from Uqwil Boma, Kurumi Payam to Lafon Centre for medical attention.

“Life here is getting harder and harder. The County is cut off from other places. There is no network coverage since early 2016.” Commissioner Okach reports.

“The humanitarian agencies are finding it difficult to operate under such harsh environment hence avoiding their missions to Lafon County” Okach added.

The county authority appeals to Government, Humanitarian agencies and Development partners to intervene in Lafon.

Commissioner Okach calls for possible assistance to repair and maintain Lafon-Torit road to facilitate transportation of people, goods and services.

“The Lafon-Torit road since 1970s has never been maintained. The fate of the county in terms of physical infrastructure is not certain .So, authority makes appeal about roads construction .Lafon-Torit road, Lafon-Mugiri road, and Lafon-Kapoeta road are priority to the county for easy and effective service delivery to people in the county.” Okach said,

“The county authority also appeals for constructing feeder roads connecting county HQs to all payams. All these death cases are a result of lack of roads connecting payams to health facility in Lafon Centre. Patients are coming on foot from the payams far or near distances looking for medical services. Some patients, especially those coming from Pacidi or Upuo payam, could spend 12 hours in water to reach Lafon Centre where PHCC is located.” The commissioner continued.

South Sudan is swept by flood. Lots of huts and tukuls are destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people need evacuations and humanitarian assistance.

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