Government of Gombe State is planning to build a snake hospital in the state in collaboration with the Federal Government to tackle the menace of snake bites in some parts of Nigeria.
The hospital will be built at a cost of N519.2 million.
Governor, Dr. Ibrahim Dankwambo who made the revelation at the foundation laying ceremony in the state said the hospital will be completed in October, 2014 and that it will cater specifically for victims of snakebite from Gombe, Adamawa, Bauchi and Taraba states, including the Camerouns.
Dankwambo said the support coming from the Nigerian government has been overwhelming adding that the state will continue to collaborate with the Federal government to reduce the plight of those bitten by snake.
“The state government has been collaborating with the Federal Ministry of health, to ensure the availability of potent anti-snake venom to ensure the continuous treatment of victims of snakebite. In 2013 alone, we expended over N32 million on the purchase of anti-snake venom, while the Federal government provided anti-snake venom worth over N25 million to the snakebite treatment centre Kaltungo in Gombe state.” Dankwambo explained.
He said 3828 people were treated for snakebite at the Kaltungo snakebite treatment centre in 2013.
The Governor appealed to the Nigerian government to assist with the local production of anti snake venom, to reduce the amount spent on importing it.
“The treatment cost per snakebite victim is beyond the reach of majority of the victims as most of them are peasants. Presently, all anti-snake venoms are manufactured outside the country which makes the cost to be exorbitant. Production of the anti-snake venoms in Nigeria would reduce cost and conserve foreign exchange,” he said.