Improving antivenom availability and accessibility: Science, technology, and beyond
Gutiérrez, José María
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Snakebite envenomings constitute a serious and neglected public health problem. Despite the fact that effective treatment exists, i.e. administration of animal-derived antivenoms, the availability and accessibility of these life-saving immunobiologicals is deficitary in various parts of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and some regions of Asia. This article discusses some of the problems that need to be circumvented in order to improve the availability and accessibility of antivenoms. The conglomerate of antivenom manufacturers is highly heterogeneous in terms of technological base, qualification of staff, implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), and volume of production. Therefore, improvements in antivenom quality and availability should be based on strategies tailored to the situation of each region or country; in this context, three different scenarios are discussed. Accessibility of antivenoms demands concerted efforts at multiple levels, including raising the awareness of public health authorities on the relevance of the problem, implementing innovative antivenom purchasing schemes, strengthening national distribution channels on the basis of robust epidemiological information, improving the cold chain and the provision of health services in remote rural settings, supporting the correct use of antivenoms, and promoting the involvement of local community organizations in various aspects of prevention and management. These tasks should be envisaged in terms of synergistic, interprogrammatic and intersectorial interventions, with the participation of many players.
Enlace externo al ítem10.1016/j.toxicon.2012.02.0080041-0101
2082-09-01 Embargo por política editorial
- Microbiología