A Snake in the Delivery Room

August 13, 2009

A baby snake which was yellow dropped from the ceiling of the delivery ward during the night.  That is all the information we have on said snake, since the courageous housekeeper who killed it promptly threw it away. I’ve found Ethiopians are in general quite adverse to snakes- and with good reason, I think, in my snake phobic mind……there are said to be many varieties of deadly ones in Ethiopia……a whole cornucopia of sizzling, hissing, treacherous ones, and even aggressive ones like the dread Black Mamba…. Ok, I must say here before I get too carried away, that I have never personally seen a snake in Ethiopia yet, I only know that there is at least a two page list of poisonous ones here (I had done my research before we came, wanting to know what I was up against).  Anyway, the delivery room nurses were in a dither as they are sure that where one baby snake is, there are likely more nearby and their Mama. The nurses have asked Mark to get them out. Now finding a supposed snake nest in a false ceiling over a maternity ward packed full of women in various stages of birthing is not an easy task. One resourceful maintenance employee suggested spraying some DDT up into the false ceiling (yes, DDT is still readily available for spraying into false ceilings here=). Mark tactfully brought up the point that DDT might not be the best thing to have filtering down over newborn babies. But, one cannot exactly dismantle the ceiling over top the patients. It’s really a bit of a quandary. Mark has begun the task of hospital snake eviction by putting up new rat bait, hoping to remove the hospital’s culinary appeal for the yellow snakes.

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