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A mother's nightmare: Boy, 8, killed by mamba on way home from school

02 October 2016, 15:01 News24 Correspondent

Chipinge - The mother of a Zimbabwean boy who died after being bitten by a poisonous black mamba on his way home from school says health officials did not give him anti-venom, a newspaper reported on Friday.

Black mambas are some of the most poisonous snakes in Africa.

Eight-year-old Macdonad Simango was bitten on the ankle by the 2.3m-long snake in the sugar-growing Chipinge district of south-eastern Zimbabwe, the Manica Post reported.

It's not clear if it had been chased out of the fields. Unlike many other snakes, black mambas are aggressive and will attack if they are threatened.

Simango's mother told the Manica Post that the Chipinge District Hospital managed to stabilise him - but then he died three hours after being admitted.

"He was supposed to receive an anti-venom drug, but it was too late. …If they had administered that drug earlier my son would be alive,” Fan Nhengwa was quoted as saying.  

Although anti-venom is normally needed to treat black mamba bites, there are cases recorded of people surviving by being put on a ventilator, accoding to Africa Geographic magazine

Not all Zimbabwean clinics have stocks of anti-venom.

In another report on poisonous snakes on Friday, the Herald reported that a cobra caused havoc at an official ceremony to hand over goods to the surviving members of a family that lost three of its members in a veld fire. This snake did not attack anyone, however.

- News24


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