Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia, a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is superior in terms of the development of vaccine technology, Head of the Food and Drug Supervision Agency (BPOM) Penny Lukito stated.

"The BPOM is tasked with sharing its vaccine technology with other countries, particularly the OIC members," Lukito remarked at a press conference on "The First Meeting of National Medicines Regulatory Authorities (NMRAs) from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation" here on Monday.

She noted that OIC countries had made varied advancements in vaccine technology. Some of them had made moderate technological advancements in vaccine development, while some others were still lagging behind.

Hence, Lukito believes that the meeting of the heads of NMRA was strategic for knowledge sharing and vaccine industry management, particularly from the regulator sector.

The NMRA meeting also strengthened south-south cooperation that generally comprised countries in the southern hemisphere and were generally developing or least developing.

"This is for south-south cooperation, so that it will have a wider access to less fortunate countries," she noted.

The NMRA meeting, to be the first of its kind, will be held in Jakarta on November 21-22, 2018. Until Monday morning, a total of 30 OIC member countries had confirmed their participation.

Lukito said the event was strategic for Indonesia, as it was also part of interstate diplomacy in the OIC environment. Indonesia is also a pilot in vaccine management, including from the regulatory elements of the food and drug regulator.

"Some OIC countries are interested in being able to increase their capacity to a higher level and also aim to become exporters. For instance, there are Kazakhstan and Jordan," she pointed out.

She remarked that Indonesia has Bio Farma, a vaccine factory, with its products used in 141 countries, with 49 of them being OIC countries.

"As a center of excellence in the world of vaccines and medicine, Indonesia has a strategic position among OIC countries," she stated.

She said only seven OIC member countries -- Indonesia, Iran, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Tunisia, and Egypt -- had the capacity to produce vaccines.

Lukito expressed hope that the capacity would be more evenly distributed among OIC countries, so that the people of Muslim countries and other global nations can be benefited.

Reporting by Anom Prihantoro
Editing by Andi Abdussalam, Suharto

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Editor: Heru Purwanto
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