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Snakebite: Nigeria govt confirms death of 91 people in two states

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•Says anti-snake bite venom not out of stock
Jude Johnson 

The Nigerian Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole has debunked the rumour that government has run out of stock of the anti-snake venom for the treatment of snake bite victims.

This is coming against the backdrop of the report of the death of 91 people as a result of snake bite in Gombe and Plateau State within three weeks.

Adewole in a statement on Monday by the Director of Media and Public Relations, Mrs. Boade Akinola,  said the Ministry still has some vials of Anti-snake venom stocked from the 2016 procurement from which States and other treatment centers were issued upon request.

“The States in questions, have refused to comply with the new procedure of request, hence their inability to access the product from the ministry,” he stated.

So far, he said, 5 states have made a request and have been issued for the treatment of victims in the last 4 months, the last was on September 6, 2017.

Adewole, however, expressed some apprehension that 2017 procurement may have some hitches because he was mistakenly transferred to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA).

He also called on the snake bite prevalent states to invest in the procurement of anti-snake venom for their people.

He warned that Federal Government cannot continue to procure and distribute free to states indefinitely as being currently practiced.

“The Federal Government is, however, working on Public Private Partnership arrangement for local production of anti-snake bite venom which will make the product available affordable and accessible”, the Minister said.

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