By Chuwang Dung, Gombe.
The coordinator of snake bite unit at General hospital Bambur, Karim Lamido local government area of Taraba state, Madam Sarah Umar, said the ignorance about the need for proper and fast treatment is responsible for the death of hundreds of snake bites victims in North-East Nigeria.
“Time is an important factor in treating snake bite cases as the first dose of anti-venom medicine should be given within an hour of the bite”
Sarah disclosed this over the weekend at the Snake bite unit of general hospital Kaltungo in Gombe State during an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP.
She said snake bites claim hundreds of people yearly in different parts of the North-East geopolitical zone, especially in Karim Lamido as a result of delay in receiving treatment.
She however noted that, the intervention of the member representing Karim Lamido II constituency in the state Assembly, Hon. Edward Baraya in providing free Anti-venom Serum (AVS), the medicine needed to treat snake bite has helped in reducing the menace.
She noted that while in several other states, the AVS, cost over N30 thousand, in Karim Lamido patients are being giving the treatment for free as a result of the intervention of the member.
Madam Umar said before Baraya intervention patients are being referred to Kaltungo in Gombe State , as such the loss of valuable time becomes fatal for the victims, stressing that many do loss their lives while on there way to receive the treatment at Kaltungo
She said it was based on the terrible situation and the alarming rate at which victims were dying that the legislator decided to intervene by giving out the drugs for free in 3 different locations across the locality, noting that he started the gesture long before being elected.
“We receive four to five patients every day on an average, and we have been able to save most of them due to the free treatment programme being sponsored by him.”
She said aside providing the AVS, Baraya also engaged 29 adhoc workers under his payroll to help enhance effective services at the various facilities.
The coordinator who said they have run out of stock due to high demand appealed to individuals, organisations and government at all levels to assist in providing the AVS as most of the victims cannot afford it.
She said the appeal became necessary considering the high demand during raining seasons and the economic hardship facing the people.
“The demand is always high during the raining season because we record more cases, the snakes go hiding during the dry season, but once the first rain comes they start coming out and during the season the situation is very bad.” She said.