TACLOBAN CITY – Officials across Eastern Visayas are urgently requesting a supply of anti-venom following a series of fatal snake bites in the region.

In Mapanas town, Northern Samar province, Mayor Ronn Michael Tejano reached out to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) of the Department of Health (DOH) last April, seeking assistance in procuring anti-venom for his municipality.

The request came after two local farmers were killed after they were bitten by a cobra while working in their fields.

“Both victims accidentally encountered the cobra,” Mayor Tejano explained.

Given that Mapanas is approximately two hours away from the provincial capital of Catarman, where the nearest hospital is situated, having a readily available supply of anti-venom is crucial for timely medical intervention, he added.

Mayor Tejano stressed the importance of swift access to anti-venom, especially considering Mapanas’ distance – about six hours’ travel – from the Tacloban City-based Eastern Visayas Medical Center, where regional supplies are typically available.

Meanwhile, in Southern Leyte province, Rep. Christopherson Yap is also advocating for anti-venom supply from the DOH.

Yap revealed that two residents have already succumbed to snake bites in his district, including a tragic incident involving a 10-year-old girl who accidentally stepped on a venomous snake.

Given the remote location of his district, Yap emphasized the critical need for local access to anti-venom.

“In cases like this, time is of the essence. Transporting patients to Tacloban for medical attention may prove too late, especially with venomous snake bites,” the solon, representing the province’ second congressional district, explained.

Efforts are underway to secure anti-venom supplies to ensure prompt medical responses to such emergencies.