Addis Ababa September 09/2017 The National Veterinary Institute of Ethiopia is preparing to manufacture veterinary drugs to substitute imported drugs, an official said.
The Institute, the sole veterinary vaccine production center in Ethiopia, will start to produce drugs at the end of this year, Director General of the Institute Dr.Marta Yami told ENA.
The infrastructure of the Institute, which well developed, has attracted the Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Control Center (PANVAC) and enable it get the responsibility to produce and supply vaccines for preferential trade area countries of Eastern, Western and Southern Africa.
The drug manufacturing plant which costs over 100 million Birr is expected to start trial production by the end of this year, the Director General said.
“So far we have been focusing on the delivery of vaccines to the animals affected by diseases, but now in line with the institutional responsibility entrusted to us by the government in GTP-II we are getting ready to embark on producing veterinary drugs”., the director general noted.
Ethiopian Veterinary Association President Dr. Bewuket Siraw slightly differed on the issue stressing that the institute should give more emphasis to producing vaccines rather than drugs.
There are a number of options that could be implemented in controlling animal disease of which the production of vaccines is one.
The Institute has been producing some 21 kinds of vaccines which he said play a crucial role in improving the health of the country’s livestock resource.
Noting the important role that the Institute played in the area, he insisted on the need for the Institute to continue to focusing on vaccines.
Despite successes in vaccine production, the Institute has been challenged by price hikes on raw materials and disparity between supply and demand among others.
Using state of the art equipments and materials appropriate for modern research and production techniques, the Institute with the production capacity of 200 million doses per year, exports vaccines to over 26 African countries.
Disease Prevention and Control Director at the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Dr. Alemayehu Mekonen agrees on the aspirations of the Institute in producing drugs in addition to vaccines.
“We are not importing vaccines, the national veterinary institute is capable of producing wide quantity and quality vaccines even for export beyond local consumption”, he said.
The Institute is contributing a lot to the country’s efforts in controlling diseases that would seriously affect the production and productivity of livestock and negatively impact on the quality of hides and skins.
The vaccines produced by the Institute are used in campaigns aimed to eradicate some animal diseases the regional campaign against goat and sheep PPR (peste des petis ruminnat), he added.
There will also be a continental campaign which will be followed by a global eradication program that is already scheduled for the coming ten years.
“But on our side, we have already started it before two years, specially focusing on pastoral communities especially in Afar, Somali, Borana corridor and also some parts of South Omo”, he added.
According to Mesfin Taddese Marketing and Case Team Coordinator at NVI, vaccine sale has been increasing from time to time and the demand is equally in the rise.
“During the closed Ethiopian budget year, we produced some 265 million doses of vaccines and distributed across the country. Furthermore, we planned to export 37 million doses but managed to sold 32 million doses and earned 1.1 million USD”
By the end of the second five-year Growth and Transformation Plan period, the Institute has planned to increase vaccine production to over 351 million doses.
Established in Bishoftu in 1964, the institute produces vaccines mainly for cattle, goat, sheep, donkey, camels and dogs.