Group wants FG to revisit research on snake venom
A former chief medical director, CMD of the university of Abuja and MD of the organisation, Dr. Nandul Durfa told The Guardian in Abuja recently that many snake bite treatment centres in the country now record many deaths during the rainy season period due to high cost of treatment.
Recalling that president Muhammadu Buhari championed the cause for the sponsorship of research in this area to mitigate the effect of snake bite while heading the defunct petroleum trust fund, PTF, Durfa called on the government to also replicate the free distribution of anti snake venom across the country as it is being done in the north east.
This according to him would be in line with the federal government’s economic policy on commercializing agriculture as peasant farmers who are the most affected will be saved the cost burden of treatment.
Explaining, Durfa said with majority of the nation’s rural dwellers being farmers with no wherewithal to treat snake bites on their own, government should consider free distribution of the venom as a measure towards encouraging farming.
The presidential committee on the north east has over the years being distributing the venom free of charge in the region as a measure towards alleviating the plight of the people.
Besides, Durfa tasked stakeholders in the health sector to deliberately design a mechanism towards ensuring measures that will lead to accessibility of anti snake vaccines especially as the rainy season sets in leading to greater risk of man and snake contact.
While commending Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom for being the only known individual in the country that sponsors free treatment of victims, the surgeon lamented that many snakebite treatment centres record many deaths during the rainy season period due to high cost of treatment.
He said unlike the previous years when it was subsidised through the defunct petroleum trust fund ,a Vial of the drug is now very expensive as it costs nothing less than a million naira to treat a victim.
He advised that state governments in partnership with Echitab group can either subsidize or acquire manufacturing rights since manufacturers from Liverpool and Costa Rica are ready to establish a plant in Nigeria as that of South Africa has closed shop.