BY ADAKU ADINDU in Abuja•
Nigeria’s Senate has called on the Ministry of Health to scale up efforts for the local production of anti-venoms to stop the avoidable deaths caused by snakebites in Nigeria.
It said this in reaction to reports that about 91 persons have died in the last three weeks in Borno, Gombe, Adamawa and Plateau States from snakebites.
The Senate therefore urged the Ministry of Health to as a matter of urgency procure sufficient quantity of anti-snake venom and supply them to the relevant treatment centers.
Senator Joshua Lidani (Gombe PDP) in a motion said the situation is compounded by the non- availability of anti- snake venom.
“Alarmed that the suppliers of the anti-snake venom who used to import them from UK and South Africa have been unable to import these vaccines adequately and consequently patients have resorted to traditional means which are unsafe and unreliable,”
“Disturbed that an ampoule of anti-snake venom costs N35, 000 and not less than 3 ampoule dosage are required for the treatment which is unaffordable by most of the peasant farmers in those areas,”
The senator harped on the need for urgent action as harvest season records high incidences of snakebites.