June 30, 2017

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MPF to export antivenom this year

Union Minister U Khin Maung Cho visits Antivenom Factory in Hmawbi on 11 June, 2016. Photo: Supplied by Ministry of Industry
Union Minister U Khin Maung Cho visits Antivenom Factory in Hmawbi on 11 June, 2016. Photo: Supplied by Ministry of Industry

THE Ministry of Industry plans to export antivenom this year to countries in Asia, especially neighbouring countries that cannot produce antivenom.
“We are ready to export our products. Currently, we are contacting embassies of the countries that we will target to export antivenom, and we are waiting to be checked by the WHO,” said U Ko Ko Aung, the General Manager of the Myanmar Pharmaceutical Factory (Insein), to The Global New Light of Myanmar.
“We can supply as many of our products to the foreign market as buyers want,” he added.
Union Minister for Industry U Khin Maung Cho visited the Antivenom Factory in Hmawbi on Saturday, calling on officials to produce the product under a GMP system.
During his visit, the factory manager clarified plans to export the product.
About 10,000 snakebite incidences occur every year across the country, especially in rural areas, with a morality rate of 10 per cent, doctors say.
With the aim of bringing down the country’s high rate of snakebite fatalities, the government-owned Myanmar Pharmaceutical Factory (Insein) has increased its anti-venom production.
According to the factory’s deputy manager Dr Moe Moe Hlaing, the factory manufactured approximately 80,000 doses of both liquid and freeze-dried venom for cobras and vipers last fiscal year.
It produced 70,000 doses of anti-venom in the 2014-2015 fiscal year and more than 30,000 in 2012-2013.
Although varieties of measures against snakebites have been carried out, annual snakebite morbidity and mortality show no apparent decrease during last decade, according to former deputy health minister Dr Win Myint.
“The cause may be multi-factorial. One of the reasons is victims’ delaying in receiving anti-venom by, as well as the limited availability of safe and potent anti-venom in our country.”

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