Project Introduction

The Anti-snake venom (ASV) is a lifesaving serum, availability of such can prevent number of avoidable deaths occurring due to snake bite every year. The only local source is NIH Islamabad which hardly can produce 1/6th of the actual annual demand of country. The imported sera are high cost with variable effects and most of the time does not neutralize well the venom of the local species.

Pakistan is having the second highest  number of snake bite cases after India (WHO global report 1990). Having proportionally the highest number of Snake bite cases in Pakistan (20000 to 30000/year) it is one of the most disquieting public health problems of Sindh especially in downtrodden desert districts. The Health Department Government of Sindh requires some special arrangements for adequate and uninterrupted supply of ASV round the year. The experience of past three decades confirmed a doubtful reliance of external sources including NIH. The off time supply and acute shortage during peak time nullifies the efforts and investment of Sindh health department and always leads to unwanted deaths and unrest among masses.

Hence this pivotal  serology laboratory gains a high priority in provincial health development plans. The income generation and self reliance aspects of the project ensures a long term sustainability once it is footed to yield it’s product.

In it’s initial phase (Phase-1) the proposed project is configured for production of ASV alone. Gradually it will be expanded to manufacture Anti Rabies, Anti Tetanus, Anti Diphtheria and other Biological products of life saving nature.

Anti snake venom is a hyper immune serum containing fractionized globulins effective against specific venom of Venomous snakes. It is the only so far scientifically proven remedial therapy for such a lethal intrusion and effective to neutralize the circulating as well as some localized venom of snakes.

Considering well the composition of specific antibodies against each of the venoms usually introduced by medically important envenoming snakes, the ASV can be either mono-valent, divalent or even polyvalent. It depends upon the hyper immunization procedure, wherein specific venoms are used for triggering on the immune system of the animal. If Venom of one species e.g. Cobra is used the ASV thus produced will be monovalent with typical characteristics of neutralizing venom of cobra alone. Whereas the polyvalent ASV will be active against the venoms of more than one species. It is usually more useful and lives saving especially when majority of the health personnel in Pakistan are not adequately trained to make differential diagnoses of the type of the snake merely from the clinical signs and symptoms and from the history of the patient.