Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has revealed plans by his administration to set up a functional snakebite treatment centre to treat victims of snakebites in the state.
The governor made the revelation on Wednesday evening when he received officials of the Nigerian Snakebite Research and Intervention Centre from the Bayero University Kano (BUK) who were on an advocacy visit to the Government House, Bauchi.
While declaring the state government’s interest to work with the Centre with a view to providing succour for snakebite victims in Bauchi State, Governor Mohammed informed that some communities, including his home town, Duguri, are facing snakebite problems.
According to him, the state government will use the officials’ knowledge and expertise to establish the snakebite centre as well as procure the required facilities needed for the treatment of snakebite patients.
“On behalf of the government and people of Bauchi State, I welcome you to Bauchi for this advocacy visit because you are coming at a good time looking at our challenges in our communities and local governments.
“I am happy to receive people with the required knowledge that we need to address our challenges. Duguri, my home town, is one of the areas affected by the problem of snakebite,” the governor said.
He assured that the Bauchi State government will support the Nigerian Snakebite Research and Intervention Centre but urged the private sector to work with the Centre for the establishment of factories which will be producing vaccines required for snakebite treatment in Nigeria.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation, Professor Abdulrazaq Habib, informed them that they were on the advocacy visit to seek the support of the Bauchi State government in tackling the problem of snakebite in the state.
According to him, the Centre is saddled with the responsibility of improving care and protection of snakebites in the country.
“We have conducted many programmes in some states of Nigeria and in particular, we have conducted a number of activities in Bauchi State, especially the training of healthcare workers, provision of equipment and instruments for clinical treatment.
“Your Excellency, we consider it as important for us to visit you as part of the celebration of 2020 International Snakebite Awareness Day. We find you as a better partner to celebrate the day with you,” he said.
Professor Habib called on the Bauchi State government to establish a centre for the treatment of snakebite victims in the state, assuring that his Centre is ready to work with the government in that regard.
He also appealed to the state government to provide funds for the production of local vaccines as part of efforts to reduce the rate of death as a result of snakebite in the country.