The situation of public laboratories manufacturing antivenoms in Latin America was analyzed, based on the results of a workshop coordinated by the Pan American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Center (PANAFTOSA) of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Nine countries in the region have 12 public laboratories that produce and distribute antivenoms for use against different venomous animals. The situation of each laboratory was discussed, and an analysis was conducted of the current scenario, which is characterized by increasing regulatory requirements that vary in terms of infrastructure and production capacity. The authors identified a need to organize regional cooperation processes to improve the availability of antivenoms, including: research and development projects to improve processes and technologies; studies of the capacity of antivenoms to neutralize different poisons; and technical training programs for professionals and technical personnel. In the current context, in which the World Health Organization has prepared a global strategy for the prevention and control of snakebite envenoming, PANAFTOSA has taken on coordination of this initiative in the Americas. Improving the availability of antivenoms is the priority. As a result of the workshop, the RELAPA network was created, bringing together public laboratories that manufacture antivenoms in Latin America, in order to strengthen these laboratories and increase the availability of, and access to effective and safe antivenoms throughout Latin America.
Fan et al.