The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has challenged rumor that government has ran out of stock of the anti-snake venom for the treatment of snake bite victims.
Adewole made this known yesterday while reacting to the report of the death of 91 people as a result of snake bite in Gombe and Plateau State within three weeks.
According to the Ministry, he said there are still 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 said that so far, 5 states have made request and have been issued for the treatment of victims in the last 4 months, the last was in September 6, 2017.
Professor Adewole however expressed some apprehension that 2017 procurement may have some hitches because they were mistakenly transferred to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA).
He also called on the snake bite prevalent states to invest in procurement of anti-snake venom for their people.
Professor Adewole warned that Federal Government cannot continue to procure and distribute free venom 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.