AJ Biologics to help Pakistan battle dengue outbreak

Malaysian vaccine manufacturer to offer technical expertise to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa state govt

AJ BIOLOGICS Sdn Bhd, the country’s first vaccine manufacturer, is collaborating with a state government in Pakistan to help manage and contain the current dengue outbreak within the northwestern Pakistani province.

The agreement with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Co will see the state government investing in a Dengue Advisory Board that utilises AJ Biologics’ expertise and capabilities to create a programme that focuses on containment, education, treatment protocols and training to combat the country’s current dengue outbreak.

The effort has been described as “critical” in addressing the situation which has recorded more than 1,000 dengue cases and killed five people in the past two weeks, the company said in a statement.

AJ Biologics, through the advisory board, will develop training programmes that will include understanding modes of dengue transmission, identifying the clinical manifestations of the four different dengue stereotypes, as well as providing accurate diagnosis and subsequent clinical management of the disease. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa secretary for industries, commerce and technical education Farah Hamid and AJ Biologics COO Jerome Cabannes represented their respective parties at a recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) sign

ing ceremony. It was witnessed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief strategy and business planning officer Hassan N Ansari and AJ Vaccine Group chairman Dr Tabassum Khan.

In a statement released by AJ Biologics, Farah said dengue is a relatively new occurrence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the recent outbreak in the region is something it had not anticipated, adding that the state government has increased public education and awareness on the disease.

“The partnership with AJ Biologics is a strategic investment on our part to amplify our existing efforts by improving our medical and technical knowledge in managing the disease,” she said.

Following the agreement, the statement added that the Malaysian delegates from the advisory board will conduct a site visit and fact-finding mission to Pakistan to come up with their recommendations.

The agreement with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government also includes a tuberculosis screening programme in the near future. This is to prevent and manage tuberculosis, a disease with a high prevalence within the Indian subcontinent, the statement added.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is one of the four administrative provinces of Pakistan, located in the northwestern region of the country along the international border with Afghanistan.