Local-level corrections turn the tide on the sub-Saharan antivenom shortage
MADRID, May 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — INOSAN BIOPHARMA congratulates the African Society of Venimology (ASV) for their determined and successful efforts toward breaking the vicious circle of snake and scorpion venom injury in Africa.
The ASV was formed in 2012, in recognition of the specific needs of African scientists and health-care professionals, after a poll of 13 countries’ venom experts showed strong support for improved epidemiology, clinical studies, training, and national snakebite and scorpion sting management programs. Studies conducted by ASV members demonstrated that the ongoing sub-Saharan antivenom shortage was attributable to limited information about local needs, infrastructural weaknesses, and loss of confidence based on years of experience with inadequate antivenom products.
ASV member doctors and scientists determined to break the vicious circle through mobilization of the private and public sectors. Together they launched epidemiology studies, trained healthcare personnel, promoted safe, appropriate antivenoms, and improved access to proper care at all levels. This week, they are at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, to share the results with the world.
“Today, the ASV forms a panel of experts who meet regularly and can help the authorities as needed,” said Jean-Philippe Chippaux, a representative of the French Institute for Research and Development, who conducts clinical and epidemiological studies and is based in Benin. “Appropriate antivenoms, lyophilized for heat stability and purified for safety, are now registered in at least 15 countries and available in many health care facilities.”
“The proactive strategy has begun to bear fruit,” said Achille Massougbodji, President of ASV. “At last the vicious circle has begun to change to a virtuous circle, with increased distribution and use of appropriate antivenom in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Senegal and Togo. Cases are now routinely reported in at least five member countries. And the governments of Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Togo are all subsidizing treatment, so doctors can deliver better antivenoms, to more people, faster than in the past.”
INOSAN BIOPHARMA is proud to have worked closely with ASV members since the beginning, to develop safe, effective new antivenoms that have now been field tested across the region. INOSAN’s products for treatment of snake and scorpion venom injury are used in over 20 countries in Africa, and we are pleased to have been able to fulfill all requests in the continent, during a rapid escalation in demand.
“It seems clear that local problems in Africa can only be solved by African experts,” said Juan Silanes, President of Inosan Biopharma.
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