Antivenom deployment saves lives in PNG

Donating snakebite antivenom from Australia to Papua New Guinea helps save hundreds of lives each year.

PNG has one of the highest snakebite rates in the world, with deaths in parts of the country three times higher than those lost to malaria or tuberculosis.

Antivenom producer Seqirus will donate up to 600 vials per year to PNG, and the Australian government will help fund its distribution, it was confirmed on Sunday, which is also International Snake Bite Awareness Day. .

“Australia is proud to work with our partners in PNG and the private sector to reduce the impact of snakebites and improve health outcomes,” said Australian High Commissioner to PNG Jon Philip in a statement. communicated.

The program has been in existence for three years and has donated and distributed nearly 1,500 vials of antivenom for sea creatures and snakes, including the papuan taipan and the death viper.

The alliance is also training hundreds of healthcare workers on how to treat patients with snakebites.

A laboratory in Port Moresby – a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and the University of PNG – manages the storage and distribution of antivenom to more than 65 dispensaries, some of which are in rugged and remote areas.

The latest deal will see the program continue for another two years until 2023.

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