The PHARMANOVA Limited in association with Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and VINS BIOPRODUCTS Limited, India organized a snakebite management symposium at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research on Friday 14th July, 2017.
A section of participants at the symposium
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Professor Kwadwo Koram welcomed the delegates and emphasized on the need for the country to produce its own anti-snake venom and added NMIMR has the required facility and will need only funds to do that. Prof. Koram said it was time for Ghana to move from managing snake bites with imported anti-snake venoms to researching into the right anti-snake venoms suitable for Ghana.
Professor Kwadwo Koram
Professor Kwabena Bosompem the Head of Department of Parasitology and the Coordinator for the Snakebite Management Study gave brief, detailed information on the geographical location of Ghana and the distribution of different species of snakes in Ghana. Prof. Bosompem further bemoaned the dangers people face in dealing with snakebites and snake control in the country as a whole and called for a broader stake holder’s forum and the need to build the needed skills to tackle the situation first hand. He emphasized why Ghana needs partnership with PHARMANOVA Limited in association with Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), Ghana Health Service (GHS) and VINS BIOPRODUCTS Limited to manage snakebite in Ghana. He again expressed his gratitude to Dr. Irene Ayi, Dr. William Anyan and Dr. Daniel Boamah for their tireless efforts in helping to organize the symposium .
Professor Kwabena Bosompem
The Director-General of Ghana Health Service Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare reiterated the need for the establishment of snake farms in the country to facilitate research into the production of anti-snake serum. He called for more partners to help in the establishment of anti-snake serum production unit as well as snake farms to help farmers and Ghanaians to ensure snake bite treatment.
Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare
The Director of VINS BIOPRODUCTS Limited Mr. Ajit Nair established the fact that Ghana needs to produce its own anti-snake serum since venom production of the same snake species is also influenced with its geographical location. Mr. Nair stressed that one of the problems most developing countries are dealing with is snakebites and so there is the need to intensify research in snake vaccines. One of the dangers he explained was deformities and death in the worst case and called for a team work approach in managing the menace. He therefore challenged NMIMR and all the Universities in Ghana to study the various snakes in Ghana to help in the production of the anti-snake serums.
Dr. N.Ganpathy(Specialist in clinical toxicology and snake envenomation) Mr. Ajit Nair( front left) and Mr. Tripathi (right)
Mr. Sualihu I Kunguo-Momori , Head of Pharmacy at the Tamale Central Hospital noted that snake-bites were very rampant in the northern part of the country, especially during the rainy season with about two cases reported weekly . He said early reporting of snakebites at he hospital could prevent death and complications but most people died because they resorted to herbal treatment which was not effective.
He also mentioned that some serums did not work on the victims who presented at hospitals and thus reiterated the need for a local production of anti-snake venom to suit the kind of venom from snakes in Ghana. (Credit Daily Graphic)
Mr. Sualihu I Kunguo-Momori
In his remark the Director of Pharmanova Limited Mr. Dhananjay Tripathi expressed hopes that at the end of the symposium, his company will be able to help manage snakebites in Ghana. He noted the snake bites were often emergency medical situations that required immediate attention but some of the cases were difficult to handle due to lack of appropriate serums. He however assured that his company has developed the world’s most advanced anti-snake venom for primary healthcare use and was introducing it onto the Ghanaian market.
Dr. Dhananjay Tripathy Executive staff of Pharmanova Ltd interacting among themselves