NO fewer than 700 persons have been treated for snake bites in Benue State.
The Health Coordinator, Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Rev. Fr. Peter Ukpeleve, disclosed this on Monday when the state governor, Samuel Ortom, visited Bishop Murray Hospital to sympathize with victims of Saturday attack by bandits in Mbamondo, Makurdi local government area.
The Catholic health coordinator said most the victims were peasants farmers, who could not afford to pay the bill, which cost as much as N800,000.
He thanked the governor, who he said had been footing the bills of snake bite victims in the state.
“We appreciate the governor for his continuous support to victims of snake bite in the state and since the governor started this gesture of footing bills of snake bite victims, the hospital has treated over 700 victims who are mostly peasant,” Rev Ukpeleve said.
Responding, Ortom thanked the Catholic institution for partnering with his administration in catering for the health need of the people especially snake bite victims.
The governor said he started the initiative of paying the hospital bills of snake bite victims since year 2000 and said that he chose Bishop Murray Hospital because of its capacity and expertise to treat snake bites from viper, puff adder or Mamba.
“They have treated hundreds of victims and saved their lives. Sometimes, the bill is more than N20m. We have an accumulated bill of N70m. The hospital has really encouraged me to continue to help. We shall pay our debts,” he promised.