Bandung, W Java (ANTARA) - Some 16 representatives from 15 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) visited the vaccine production and distribution site of Bio Farma, Indonesia's state-owned pharmaceutical company, in Bandung, West Java, on Wednesday.

Bio Farma's Director of Operations Mas Rahman Roestan stated that the visit aims at facilitating the process of knowledge sharing on cold chain management practices for vaccine distribution since among the OIC members, only Indonesia, through Bio Farma, has 14 types of vaccines recognized by the world health agency.

"Hence, out of the 57 (OIC) member countries, only two countries’ vaccine products have been recognized by the world health agency, the first being Senegal, with only one vaccine, to cater to the needs of central and western Africa, while the other one is Indonesia," Roestan expounded.

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Hence, country representatives from the OIC had paid a visit to the lab where the vaccine was produced and also distributed through the cold chain system.

The representatives thereafter also visited the biotechnology and vaccine product facility center building at the Bio Farma complex.

Roestan noted that the visit was merely a short-term collaboration for the exchange of knowledge. As for the medium term, Bio Farma will collaborate to transfer the vaccine cold chain management system technology to OIC countries.

"We have been implementing cooperation with Saudi Arabia for the transfer of technology. We will prepare the active ingredients from Bio Farma and send them to Saudi Arabia and then produce the vaccine there to cater to the needs of gulf nations," he stated.

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Based on the grim reality that polio continues to inflict the populations of several OIC members, the vaccine for fighting this disease garners the highest priority.

"Indonesia is already free from polio, but people in countries, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria, continue to suffer from the disease since they are conflicting nations," Roestan pointed out. EDITED BY INE

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Translator: Bagus Ahmad Rizaldi, Yashinta
Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti
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