Nigeria imports snakebite drug after fatalities

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Nigerian authorities say they have procured anti-venom, the substance used to treat poisonous snakebites, from the UK and Costa Rica following months of acute shortages at snake bite treatment centres.

More than 200 people have died in the past month after from snake bites because of lack of available treatment.

Worst hit were Kaltungo in the north-east and Zamko in in the north, with daily deaths of patients reported.

Health officials say 5,000 vials of anti-snake venom are now being distributed to centres across Nigeria.

Environmentalists say more than 10,000 people are bitten by snakes every year in Nigeria, resulting in hundreds of deaths.

Because the country is unable to produce anti-venom, snake samples are sent to the UK and Costa Rica to produce the antidote.

Anti-venom is created by injecting an animal with a diluted dose of snake venom – the host body reacts by producing antibodies to fight it, which are then extracted and used as an antidote.

BBC

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