Pakistan to self-produce anti-rabies vaccine to reduce import dependency from India
It is pertinent to mention that until the local production meets the local demand, Pakistan will resort to importing the vaccines from China.
Reports state that
the mass production of the anti-rabies vaccines and snake venom antidote will start in Pakistan by 2021. The decision has been taken to end the country’s dependence on imports from India.
It should be noted that Pakistan annually requires between 200,000 and 300,000 doses of antidotes for snakebites and 1.5 million to 2 million doses of the rabies vaccine. Every year these doses are imported from India.
However, the import orders are often reciprocated with a temporary supply shortage due to the strained relations between the two neighboring countries.
Talking about the shortage problem, the Vice-Chancellor of Karachi’s Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), Prof. Dr. Mohammed Saeed Quraishy, stated:
Pakistan faces a 70 percent shortage of anti-rabies vaccine.
Addressing the solution to this issue, the Head of Vaccine Production at the National Institute of Health (NIH), Dr. Ghazala Parveen, said:
An entirely new manufacturing facility has been set up and approved by DRAP to ensure the mass production of anti-snake venom, anti-rabies sera, typhoid vaccine, and tetanus toxoid.
Dr. Ghazala Parveen further added:
With the latest machinery and equipment at hand, we hope that the country will not import these products from India in the future.
It is pertinent to mention that until the local production meets the local demand, Pakistan will resort to importing the vaccines from China. Explaining this, Prof. Dr. Mohammed Saeed Quraishy said:
We have just started a project. What we are planning to do is to import the doses from China, repack them in the Dow Life Sciences Institute, and then market it.
In Pakistan, around 1 million dog-bite incidents occur every year. 200,000 cases were registered in Sindh alone by October this year. These stats make it essential for the country to become self-reliant and produce its own rabies vaccine and snake bite antidote.
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