Reprieve as Nigeria receives Drugs for Snake bites

Reprieve as Nigeria receives Drugs for Snake bites

Nigeria on Saturday received 4,000 vials of Anti-Snake Venom (ASV), ending months of acute shortage of the drug and bringing relief to victims of snake bites across the Country. The paucity of the drug, which hit the country at the peak of snake-bites – usually between January and April when the scorching heat forces snakes

Nigeria on Saturday received 4,000 vials of Anti-Snake Venom (ASV), ending months of acute shortage of the drug and bringing relief to victims of snake bites across the Country.

The paucity of the drug, which hit the country at the peak of snake-bites – usually between January and April when the scorching heat forces snakes out of their holes to cool their bodies – had resulted in several deaths.

According to Dr. Nandul Durfa, Managing Director, Echitab Study Group, the outfit handling the distribution of ASV in Nigeria, many snake-bite treatment centers recorded many deaths during that period as the medics were helpless.

“The period of acute shortage was agonising, but we are happy that it is now over. The ASV is now available. We have received a total of 4,000 vials of the drug.

“We have received 2,000 polyvalent ASV produced at the Instituto Clodomiro Picado (ICP), University of Costa Rica, which treats bites from all venomous snakes in Nigeria.

“We have also received 2,000 monovalent ASV produced by Micropharm Ltd, United Kingdom, solely for carpet vipers, the commonest snakes in Nigeria,’’ Durfa told our Correspondent on Sunday.

He regretted the delay in the supply of the facility that left snakebite victims helpless, and blamed that on the tedious process involved in producing and importing the ASV.

“The process is usually tedious and lasts more than three months. Normally, we take the live snakes to Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine where they are killed and their venom extracted and sent to the manufacturing sites in Wales and Costa Rica

“There is a specific period allocated for the production of the ASV for Nigeria. It means we must wait for that period no matter how pressed we are,’’ he explained.

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