Goals

The overall goal of establishing the National Antivenom and Vaccine Production Center is to establish a center of excellence at King Fahad National Guard Hospital capable of producing potent antivenoms against venoms of the local snakes and scorpions. The center would also develop treatment protocols based mainly on chemotherapy of envenoming and recommend for the adjunctive therapy. This is anticipated to reduce the unjustified high mortality rate of snake bites and scorpion stings in the kingdom to the international accepted values or even lower. The center will be the only center of its type in Saudi Arabia and the gulf region.

 

Objectives

  1. To ensure a strategic and continuous supply of antivenoms of high titre and efficacy and satisfy the needs of the kingdom of this indispensable and “difficult to obtain” drugs.
  2. To spare exceedingly high and unjustified sums of money spent in purchasing low quality and mostly ineffective antivenoms. This would also help in overcoming monopoly of the multinational pharmaceutical companies.
  3. To increase public awareness of the dangers of the venomous creatures and the first aid measures this may have to be used.
  4. To contribute in the training of medical and paramedical staff in aspects of envenomations and their treatment.
  5. To collect data from Saudi Arabia and the gulf region on diseases caused by envenomation and to be a resource center for such information.
  6. To maintain an up-to-date information on envenomation and the recent trends of treatment of cases of poisoning.
  7. To maintain a national reference collection of venoms and venom components. Part of these can be sold to scientific institutions at exceedingly high price.
  8. To collaborate with scientists, both in Saudi Arabia and other countries, and to encourage younger scientists to work in this area.