Snake bites can be very dangerous and some can lead to very swift poisoning and death. In the case of a man whose name I have been told is Egbe, from Kumba in the South West Region of Cameroon, he had time to do something about it but refused.
In the above video, Egba, recognised by others in the video as a traditional healer or herbalist, explains that the wounds on his hands have been caused by snake bites. He starts by acknowledging that he caught the snake by its tail before being attacked by the reptile. He goes on to explain that he had succeeded in catching the snake alive, but claimed he had no money to go to hospital. He acknowledges in the video that one of his hands was already swelling as a result of the snake poisoning. He fails to explain why he is holding the live snake and what he intends to do with it.
As he complaints of not having money, one of the persons nearby give him 50 Frs. CFA (about 69 pence). This, it must be noted is not enough to pay even for a taxi drop. He babbles around about borrowing money and how it was a Sunday and there was nothing he could do.
As Egbe walks away, one of the women in the video insists that he should go to hospital. He responds by saying that the Almighty God is his protector, given that he is a Dr. who heals people and does not harm them. He goes on to state prophetically, that someone wanted to kill him, and that he knows he is going to die, but he will kill them before he dies.
As Egbe walks away with the snake in his grasp, the people in the video are heard arguing. One says he will die unless he seeks medical attention, while another says he won’t die because he is a herbalist.
It has been announced in messages spreading on social media that Egbe finally died of the bites he received from the snake.
It all makes one to wonder. Could it be simply that Egbe lacked the funds to go to hospital that he preferred to take chances with his life? Was it his belief that he was a traditional healer and therefore capable of curing himself of the bites when he gets home? Was he under the mistaken assumption that God will protect him, even if he did nothing to help himself? These questions and more are not answered in the video that has left me shell-shocked.
This is symptomatic of many persons in Cameroon and many parts of Africa. Because of the high levels of poverty, people will go to extreme lengths to look for food, sometimes putting their lives in danger in the process. Even when they are faced with imminent death, the lack of money or the trust in herbalists or even God, to heal them, often prevents them from seeking medical attention. The ultimate result is untimely deaths which could have been easily prevented. One wonders if things