BY OMOLOLA AFOLABI The federal ministry of health has commenced the construction of a new snakebite treatment centre in Sepeteri, Saki east LGA, Oyo state. The development is coming two months after TheCable published a report highlighting how residents of the community suffer bites from the brown mamba, a specie of snake called ‘paramole’ in local parlance, which had led to the death of some residents. The snakebite treatment centre in the community was found to be deserted and surrounded by bushes with no medical facility nearby to treat affected residents. However, during a recent visit to the community, TheCable found that the construction of a new snakebite treatment centre had commenced. Speaking about the development, Azeez Dansalmah, the community’s secretary, said the construction started after the publication of TheCable’s report. “The community people send their gratitude to the newspaper. The report shook the authorities and they commenced work on the new snakebite centre immediately after it was published. Thank you for this gesture,” he said. “As a matter of fact, the building is almost completed. It was your report that got them into action because all of them read it.” On his part, Akindele Adeyi, a researcher who visited the community, said his team is trying to determine the species of snakes in the town. “We were able to find out some developments that would be very useful to our research,” Adeyi said. “We visited several places, including the farms, hospital, the traditional healers and the doctor in charge of the private clinic which treats cases of snakebites in the community. “We hope to come up with something novel and helpful during the course of our research to help alleviate the suffering of the people of Sepeteri.” A government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the ministry of health is in the process of developing an antivenom for the community and other places where snakebites are common.

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