Panic as six Rwamagana residents suffer suspected scorpion bites

By Elina Jonas Ruzindaza
On 5 August 2020 at 07:57

Six residents of Rwamagana District in Kigabiro Sector have been bitten by an unknown insect suspected to be a scorpion, a small but poisonous insect that the bitten person may face some disabilities of joint, and ask the authorities to help them find a cure.

They are small insects that look like scorpions and the doctors who spoke to IGIHE say they are.

They are insects that have been around for a month and found in homes in Akamata Village in Cyanya Cell in Kigabiro Sector. The three who were bitten sought medical attention from a doctor, hospitalized, and it was found necessary to put them on drip. The other three did not go to the hospital but used traditional medicine.

Some residents interviewed by IGIHE described how they were bitten by this insect. Mukeshimana Sauda said she was bitten on Thursday last week on the breast and knee.

Izerimana Safinah said she was bitten while she was preparing children’s shoes.
Izerimana added that apart from her, she even took her child in the hospital for medical treatment. She said these insects are so common in her home that she is worried they will continue to bite them.

Kamatare village leader, Ntwari Janvier Musa, said that he had also been told by various residents for a month that they saw the scorpion-like insects in their homes, and that he had recently killed them at his home. He advises they should not delay but find pesticides to kill them.

The mayor of Rwamagana District, Mbonyumuvunyi Radjab, said they were aware that there were scorpion-like insects that had already bitten six people but they would not confirm that they are scorpions because they usually live in the desert.

He is urging the public that anyone who would be bitten should go to the doctor as soon as possible while they are working with the health authorities to find a definitive solution.

What is Scorpion?

Dr. Nsengiyumva Jean Beranrd, a specialist in emergency medicine for potentially fatal diseases, who works at CHUB Hospital, told IGIHE that there are 1,500 species of scorpion in the world. At least 20 are the most poisonous including those who can bite a person and have disabilities in the joint.

Dr. Nsengiyumva called on the public not to be intimidated since most of the scorpions in Rwanda do not have dangerous venom. He, however, urged against use of herbs to treat the bites as this may cause health risks.

Although the toxicity of scorpions in Rwanda may not cause serious problems, Dr. Nsengiyumva says their bite can cause tetanus and other diseases.