Abdulrazaq Auwal Mungadi
Gombe State Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has assured that the State Government is ready to partner with the Nigeria Snakebite Research and Intervention Centre (N-SRIC) to combat the menace of snakebite in the State.
The Governor stated this while receiving a delegation from N-SRIC who paid him a courtesy visit at the government house on Tuesday. He said that his administration will not relent in reaching out to relevant bodies to tackle the issue of snakebite which is a menace mostly in Kaltungo Local Government Area (LGA) the southern part of the State.
Assured to support the institute in all aspects with a view to ensuring that the scourge is checked to the barest minimum in Gombe State and even beyond. Governor Yahaya who was named as a champion of the campaign against snakebite in Nigeria assured of his readiness to champion the cause of snakebite campaign through protecting and promoting the objectives of the institute.
He said: ‘As a champion in this cause, aside from Gombe State intervention, I will also ensure propagating the institute’s objectives, priorities, and interest at forums such as the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) North East Development Commission (NEDC) and similar other bodies and seek support to push for this cause.’
The leader of the delegation, Prof Abdulrazak Habib had earlier stated that activities of the snakebite research institute which is based at Bayero University Kano (BUK) include training of selected health personnel in combating snakebite menace.
He explained that the institute was also carrying out research on how anti-venom drugs will be produced locally for easy healthcare access. The Professor added that the institute has also supported some hard to reach communities in Kaltungo LGA with motorcycles to be used for the conveyance of snakebite patience to health facilities.
While updating the Governor on the current situation around the scourge in Nigeria Prof Abdulrazak said: ‘Snakebite is a major problem in the tropics, causing over 125,000 deaths globally and at least 20,000 deaths in Africa yearly.
‘Nigeria records over 25,000 bites, 2000 deaths, and 2300 amputations yearly mostly among farmers. Most affected states include Gombe, Taraba, Bauchi, Adamawa, Plateau, Benue, Kebbi, Kogi, Borno and Enugu.’
He further explained that the institute found Governor Yahaya suitable to champion the fight against the menace ‘considering his commitment towards salvaging the lives of the common man as demonstrated ever since he assumed office.’