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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Shortage of rabies vaccine: RTI zeroes in on state, Centre

TAILPIECE
Shibu Thomas I TNN : Mumbai: The Union and state governments are to be blamed for shortage of anti-rabies vaccine (ARV). Though public and private pharmaceutical firms in India are producing the vaccine in sufficient numbers, the government has failed to supply them to state-run hospitals, revealed the Central Director General of Health Services in reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta). Six of the institutions, including the government-run Pasteur Institute of India at Coonoor, have an installed capacity to produce 197 lakh doses of ARV. In 2005-2006, while they produced 134 lakh doses, the demand was for 112 lakh. The actual supply was, however, only 110 lakh doses. The following year the figures were worse. As against the production of 169 lakh doses (till August 2006), the demand was for 27.5 lakh and the supply was far less at 0.7 lakh doses. “The figures clearly show that the production of ARVs is quite high. The real hitch is in the supply chain,’’ said N G Jayasimha of PETA. The cost of the TCV varies between Rs 250 to Rs 300 per dose. On February 17, 2007, TOI reported that the Bombay high court had ordered the Maharashtra government to explain why it directed Haffkine Institute to stop producing ARV’s. The report added that the government had to detail the steps being taken to make the vaccines available at a cheap price. As per a World Health Organisation survey, one person is bitten every two seconds by a dog in India, while one person dies every 30 minutes from rabies. shibu.thomas1@timesgroup.com
Publication: Times Of India Mumbai; Date:2007 Feb 26; Section:Times City; Page Number 7

1 comment:

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