Bong Go seeks to enhance medical services in far-flung areas; says gov’t to consider setting up snake bite center in Bukidnon

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said that he has already discussed with Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III the possible establishment of a snake bite center in Bukidnon after residents sought his help on the matter.

In an interview after personally leading the distribution of assistance to hundreds of Lumad residents and witnessing the turnover of a fire truck and a government grant to cooperatives in Kibawe, Bukidnon on Tuesday, February 16, Go said that the government is now considering setting up a snake bite center in the province after residents lamented that victims of snake bites have to be transported all the way to Cagayan de Oro City just to be treated. They also noted that some patients die along the way due to the long travel.

“Nakausap ko kagabi si Secretary Duque at pag-aralan nila ang posibilidad na maglagay ng snake bite center,” Go said.

Acknowledging the need to immediately treat victims of snake bites, Go expressed his willingness to provide assistance to them.

“Alam n’yo, mahirap ang snake bite kasi malayo ‘yung Cagayan (de Oro) at Malaybalay. Kailangan pa ito i-transfer,” he noted.

“May snake bite na medyo poisonous, critical ang oras na binibilang, so ngayon kung kailangan… handa po ako tumulong,” he added.

Reports of individuals being attacked by snakes have become frequent in Mindanao. In 2019, alarm was raised after dozens of king cobras were killed in the country. The Philippine Center for Terrestrial and Aquatic Research documented king cobras “killed or found dead” in several provinces, including Bukidnon.

Just last month, a baby reportedly died in San Isidro, Davao del Norte after being bitten by a snake. In 2020, a four-year-old girl died after being attacked by a king cobra in Barangay Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City.

A farmer in Davao del Sur was also killed in 2019 due to snake bites. Post-mortem examination revealed that the bite marks on the victim’s left forearms and left portion of the body may have been inflicted by a king cobra.

While awaiting the establishment of the snake bite centers, Go urged residents to seek assistance from Malasakit Centers located at Northern Mindanao Medical Center and JR Borja General Hospital, both in nearby Cagayan de Oro City for their medical concerns.

“May Malasakit Center naman tayo sa Cagayan, dalawa yan. Maglalagay din tayo sa Bukidnon at dagdag sa Davao din po. Sasaluhin po namin kayo kung kailangan kayo ma-admit,” Go assured.

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