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Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute

Medical institute in Bangkok, that is part of the Thai Red Cross Society. It was inaugurated on 7 December 1922, under the auspices of King Rama VI, who offered his private property for the construction of a new home for the institute's predecessor, i.e. the Pasteur Institute, that since 1913 produced vaccine against rabies and smallpox, and was set up after a suggestion of Prince Damrong Rachanuphaap (a half-brother of King Rama V), whose daughter had died of rabies. It is named after Queen Saovabha, sometimes transliterated Saowapha and also known as Queen Sri Phatcharinthra (fig.), i.e. the mother of King Rama VI and a consort of King Chulalongkorn. Since 1923, the institute is also home to the capital's Snake Farm, where poisonous snakes are ‘milked’ (fig.) for their venom, which is used in horse immunization for antibody production, that in turn is harvested from the animal's blood and used to manufacture antivenom for snake bites. See POSTAGE STAMP.