Antivenom distribution across Papua New Guinea

The recently launched PNG Snakebite Partnership is a three-year collaborative project involving the National Department of Health (PNG), the Australian Government, Seqirus Pty Ltd, and the Australian Venom Research Unit (Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics) at the University of Melbourne. Seqirus, will provide an annual donation of 600 vials of snake and marine creature antivenoms to PNG. This is more than triple the amount of antivenom currently purchased annually by the PNG National Department of Health and the donation is valued at more than PGK2.5 million annually.

PNG Snakebite Partnership
AVRU and CCTC team members are joined by Dr Lorna Meldrum (VP, Commercial Operations Asia/Pacific, Seqirus), Hon. Sir Puka Temu KBE, CMG (Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS, PNG), and Australian High Commissioner to PNG, Mr Bruce Davis for the launch of the PNG Snakebite Partnership.

The Australian Government will support the distribution and storage of the antivenoms and training of health personnel on snakebite management which will be delivered through the services of AVRU’s PNG translational research facility, the Charles Campbell Toxinology Centre (CCTC).  The CCTC, which is a collaborative partnership between the University of Papua New Guinea and AVRU, operates the snakebite clinic at Port Moresby General Hospital and will offer two new postgraduate Master of Medical Science Scholarships to UPNG students. It is intended that recipients of these scholarships will participate in comprehensive monitoring, evaluation services and health worker training in snakebite management in the future.

As of August 2018 more than 240 vials of antivenom have been distributed across 25 health centres throughout PNG. The interactive map below provides an overview of the distribution to date in addition to showing which antivenom is available in each area.