By Chioma Umeha
The Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole has debunked rumours that the Federal government has ran out of stock of the anti-snake venom for the treatment of snake bite victims.
Reacting to the report of the death of 91 people as a result of snake bite in Gombe and Plateau Sta te within three weeks, the Health Minister said the Ministry still has some vials of Anti-snake venom stocked in the Federal Ministry of Health, from the 2016 procurement from which States and other treatment centres 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, five states have made a request and have been issued for the treatment of victims in the last four months, the last was on September 6, 2017.
Prof. Adewole however expressed some apprehension that this year’s procurement may have some hitches because the funding 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 (PPP) arrangement for local production of anti-snake bite venom which will make the product available affordable and accessible”, the Minister said.