23rd May, 2016
The Snake Bite Treatment Centre in Kaltungo, Gombe State, has run out of anti-snake venom, its Medical Officer, Dr Abubakar Balla, has said.
Balla disclosed on Monday in Gombe that the centre has no single dose of the anti-snake venom at the moment.
He said that the situation has led to the death of many patients, who were unable to access treatment.
“In May alone, we have admitted 270 people bitten by snakes.
“The worst part of the story is that most of the patients that come to the hospital cannot afford N25,000 for one vile of anti-snake venom, and most of them died because of snake poison,” he said.
He said that it was difficult to treat patients without the anti snake venom, adding that “the only remedy is continuous blood transfusion to dilute the poison and stop it from circulating, which is not easy and it needs money also.”
The official said that people in the area have developed phobia of going to their farms, as most cases of snake bites occurred on farmlands.
Balla said that although the Federal Ministry of Health had been alerted on the problem, officials there had informed the centre that there was no money to purchase the drugs for now.
“I am appealing to the authority concerned as a matter of urgency to supply the drugs because people are dying, ” he said.
Kaltungo Snake Bite Treatment Centre provides services to victims of snake bites from states in the North-East and Jigawa.