World class Sera processing lab being established at NIH.
ISLAMABAD, April 17, 2009 (Frontier Star) -- A world class laboratory to produce anti-snake, anti-rabies, anti-tetanus and anti-diphtheria sera is being set up at the National Institute of Health in the Capital which on completion would meet 100% national demand. The Federal Health Minister Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani performed the ground breaking of the first world class Sera processing laboratory which would cost Rs. 498.5 million and completed by 2011. Speaking on the occasion, the Health Minister said the event symbolized the PPP governments commitment to invest in technology aimed at benefiting the masses. In todays world, nations lagging behind in the scientific field are unable to safeguard their sovereign interests, he said. The Minister lauded the efforts of NIH scientists for conceiving a project that provides life saving sera to the common man at an affordable price. The cost of production of a vial of the anti-snake venom sera produced in this laboratory would be the lowest in the world, the Minister said while briefing the media. Referring to the NIH Jhakrani said the new national health policy lays special emphasis on developing technical and human resources in health and strengthening research and analysis as major pillars transferring decision making processes at all levels. Earlier in his briefing Executive Director of National Institute of Health Dr. Birjees Mazhar Kazi said that upon start of production, the laboratory will meet the entire demand of anti-snake venom sera in the country producing 1000,000 vials against 30,000 under the present production facility. Snake bite in Pakistan is a serious medical issue with approximately 13,000 snake bites every year, he said. Around 1,200 deaths occur from snake bites in the country. He said the new laboratory would be employ current good manufacturing practices and meet WHO standards. Dr. Kazi said the existing Sera processing laboratory was established 44 years back in l965 with a production capacity of 15,000 vials of anti snake venom and 1,000 to 2,000 vials of anti-rabies serum. He said making technological advancements to match the current demand of the country and international standards was imperative hoping that this project would become a catalyst for launch of similar initiatives in the Institute. The ceremony was attended among others by eminent scientists and a wide cross section of health experts from the public and private sectors.
(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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|Publication:||The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)|
|Date:||Apr 17, 2009|
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