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MBABANE – Once, twice, three times lucky – that is the tale of a five-year old boy who was bitten by a puff-adder.

The puff adder, Bitis arietans, is the most common and widespread venomous snake. Found throughout Africa and into Arabia it is only absent in the rainforest and extreme desert habitats

The infant is said to have been bitten three times by the same snake before it slid away into a thick bush. The incident occurred late last year at a Dlamini homestead situated at Maphungwane in the Lubombo region.

Piercing screams of the crying boy are said to have brought elders of family running. The grandfather, Twister Dlamini, found his grandson on the ground crying hysterically with fear was written on his face as he pointed towards the direction the snake took after biting him.

Dlamini said fear also engulfed him as he thought his grandson was going to die.


The old man narrated that the boy was playing behind the family two-bedroom house when they heard him screaming.
“I suspect that it was something he could have been playing with, that he might have kicked it, judging from the bite marks on his foot,” Dlamini said, giving an encounter of his thoughts.

After discovering that he had been bitten by a snake, they tried to arrange transport to take the child to hospital but failed and opted for public transport.

Worth noting is that the hospital, Good Shepherd Hospital is approximately 20 kilometres from their residence.
At the health centre, the boy was given anti-venom before being admitted for a few days.

“While in hospital, I noted that his condition was not improving. I then went for another option, the traditional route.”
Dlamini mentioned that he was referred and directed to a herbalist based at KaBhudla known as Maphuthuma Zwane.
“He gave me some herbs known as sibiba for the boy had to ingest. I used to give him while he was in hospital. I noted that his condition improved after taking the herbs.”

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