Federal government said it has donated large quantities of anti-snake venom, ASV, in order to combat the rampant incidences of snakebites in Kanke, Panshin and Shendam communities in Plateau State.
A press statement sent to Nigerian Pilot noted that the drugs were presented on behalf of the government by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, to the
Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH .
According to the statement, Adewole said the donation was in response to the outcry from the people in the affected communities and as part of the federal government’s effort to stem the scourge which had been ravaging the region since August 2015.
The minister, who was represented by an Assistant Director, Mr. Fatai Oyediran, who led a team of medical experts and environmental scientists from the Federal Ministry of Health to Plateau State, said his team was in the state to confirm the complaint, assess the current status and carry out sensitisation and awareness campaigns aimed at raising the bar in terms of prevention and control of the scourge.
According to him, the experts would carry out a survey to determine the most effective ways of controlling the incidence of snakebites within each locality.
Responding, the Plateau State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Kuden Kamshak Deyin, commended the federal government for its laudable assistance to the state and urged it to decentralise the Zamko JUTH treatment centre and upgrade it to a research centre, adding that it would reposition it to cope better with the health burden that it is saddled with.
Responding, the Permanent Secretary, Plateau State Ministry of Health, Pharmacist Abel Hamila Guyatan, appealed to the medical experts to do justice to the snakebite challenge, noting that the whole state was a snake endemic area.
Also speaking, the Medical Superintendent, Zamko treatment centre, Dr. Titus Dajel, revealed that they treated between 80-120 snakebite cases per month and sometimes five cases were reported daily, particularly during the farming season.
He stressed the need for the government to encourage local manufacturers of the ASV drug so that it could be available and affordable to patients who are mainly local farmers.

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