Makerere University researchers have asked the government to provide special funding to help researchers come up with an effective drug that can be used to save the lives of people who die due to snake bites.
According to the first-ever survey carried out by the Makerere University School of Public Health, 101 people in every 100,000 Ugandans suffer snake bite injuries.
The principal investigator, Dr. John Ddamulira says the study conducted across six districts of Arua, Gulu, Kamuli, Kasese, Nakapiripirit, and Mubende last year revealed that a lot of people die of injuries with a mortality rate estimated at 560 per 100,000 people, only 1.4% seek proper medical care for the injuries.
He says if researchers are supported and they come up with a local drug fully developed based on the types of snakes which exist in the country it’s bound to help in saving the lives of people who succumb to snake bites.
“These antivenoms are not only very expensive but also the challenge is; they were not made based on the local snakes that we have. They extract venoms from snakes, so you will see that the antivenoms we are having around, many of them are made from the Indian snakes and I think others are from South Africa,” Ddamulira said.
He says currently the drugs which are being used to treat snake bites are imported.