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Sindh CS orders early registration of locally-produced ASV vaccine

By Anwar Shaikh
August 03, 2019

NAWABSHAH: Following court orders, the Sindh Chief Secretary, Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah, has directed immediate registration of the critical anti snake venom (ASV) vaccine being produced at Sindh Anti Snake Venom and Anti Rabies Serology Laboratory, Sakrand with the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan.

Shah was visiting the laboratory along with Secretary Health Saeed Ahmed Awan, Commissioner Shaheed Benazirabad Syed Mohsin Ali Shah, Director General Health Masood Ahmed Solangi and other officials on the orders of Sindh High Court.

Presiding over a meeting at Sakrand, Chief Secretary Shah said the Sindh government would take all possible steps for quick release of funds for the laboratory and overcome the shortage of latest equipment to produce and supply the snake bite vaccine at low rates across the country.

The head of the laboratory, Prof Dr Naeem Qureshi while briefing the Chief Secretary said the laboratory produced ASV vaccine which was approved by the World Health Organization but was not registered with Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan.

The production of the vaccine was stopped due to non registration by the Pakistan Drug Regulatory Authority, shortage of technical staff, funds and incomplete documentation, led to stopping of bulk production, Dr Qureshi said.

He said if funds are provided timely the laboratory can start bulk production of the ASV within a year to meet the requirements of the province. Dr Qureshi said the ASV produced by his laboratory would be more efficacious and cost effective compared to that produced in other countries.

The chief secretary pledged addressing all the hindrances and issues of the Anti Snake Venom and Anti Rabies Serology Laboratory on a priority as directed by the court. Talking to media Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah said action is in progress to dislodge those occupying the state forest land as directed by the court.

Regarding flood protection, he claimed arrangements have been made in anticipation of the expected floods and the river embankments are being strengthened. He also directed the secretary health to visit hospitals and resolve shortage of medicines and other necessary equipment and facilities.