Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue StateBy Peter Duru, Makurdi
Over 700 victims of snake bites in Benue state have received free treatment courtesy of Governor Samuel Ortom.
The Health Coordinator, Catholic Dioceses of Makurdi, Reverend Father Peter Kpaleve who made this known Monday when he received the Governor at the Bishop Murray Hospital where he visited survivors of last Saturday’s armed herdsmen attack in Makurdi outskirts.
He commended the Governor for supporting the sick and uplifting health facilities in the diocese adding “we are grateful for your cooperation and help to the Catholic Church and by extension the health system in the Catholic Dioceses of Makurdi.
“Today the Governor is here to see those who were shot by Fulani herdsmen and those who are sick but he extended his magnanimity to those who are lying critically ill by paying the hospital bills as well as caring for other staff who had other challenges.
“It was because of the effort of the Governor that nobody came to the hospital last year for snakebite treatment and died. And more than 700 people came here and none of them died.
“The treatment for snake bike is quite expensive and those bitten most times are peasants who cannot afford the treatment. But they have all been receiving free treatment because of the intervention of Governor Ortom,” Father Kpaleve said.
Responding, Governor Ortom commended the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi for the cooperation and support to his government in the area of healthcare delivery, education, character moulding of children and being upright in supporting the policies of the government.
“We want to appreciate them for the synergy and the cooperation to work together and ensure that those bitten by snakes are treated and sent back home.
“This is a programme I started in the year 2000 when we discovered that this hospital has the capacity, the wherewithal and expertise in treating snake bites. Like he rightly said, last year alone we successfully treated over 700 victims after which they went back home.
“Meanwhile we have taken over the hospital bill of other patients who could not afford to pay their bill in the hospital. They should be treated and allowed to go home.”
The Governor who commended the hospital for treating victims of Saturday’s herdsmen attack disclosed that the seven that lost their lives would be buried Tuesday (today) even as he urged the people to continue to support the government and to report cases of suspicious movement to security agencies.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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