Rupununi woman dies from snake bite


A woman is now dead after she was bitten by a snake and was unable to seek medical attention because the two health centres she visited were closed.

Mathilda Ignacio, a farmer of the South Rupununi village of Achiwib, was on her farm on Thursday last when she was bitten by a snake.

After realising the severity of the snake bite, her children rushed her to the village for medical attention.

Upon arriving at the first health centre, the family found the gates were closed, and decided to take Ignacio to the second health centre which is located several hours away from her village. But when they arrived there, that medical facility was closed too.

According to the woman’s relatives, the gates to the facilities, including one at the village of Karaudanarau, were locked, which caused the woman to succumb to her injuries on Friday morning.

Regional Chairman Bryan Allicock told this publication that the regional health authorities received reports on this issue and are presently investigating.

“The gates have to be closed in the nights because it is crew time and these villages are on lockdown. There are two or three persons who have keys for the gates and because they didn’t get contact with them, I guess that is what caused the delay,” he said.

Allicock said that it was alleged by the persons who had access to the keys of the gates of the health centres, that in the long efforts to locate the keys, the family left.

“Because of that delay that is why the lady passed away,” he stated.

An estimated 95 persons have died over a five year period as a result of being bitten by venomous snakes, the Ministry of Public Health had noted in 2019.

From accessible statistics (2010–2014), documents show that there were 1, 190 cases of snakebite resulting in the death of 95 persons.