WHO holds biosecurity workshop in Tajikistan

The World Health Organization recently conducted a training workshop on biorisk management in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, to ensure that public health laboratories in the region operate according to international principles of safety and quality.

The workshop was part of a European Union and International Science and Technology Center initiative in central Asia, operating under the umbrella of the WHO-launched Better Labs for Better Health initiative. The training workshop was conducted between January 28 and February 7.

WHO/Europe organized the training in collaboration with the WHO headquarters and is based on a standardized risk-assessment approach. The workshop was part of a continuing effort to establish a Regional Biosafety Training Center in Dushanbe for the capacity building of laboratory professionals in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

The workshop followed the framework of the WHO Biorisk Management Advanced Trainer Program. More than 15 laboratory professionals from key national labs in the city participated in the course, in which they learned state-of-the-art adult teaching skills through video recordings, practical exercises and group sessions.

Pavel Ursu, the head of the WHO's Tajikistan office, gave the opening presentation for the workshop. He said that biosafety and biosecurity are essential aspects of improvements to laboratory services. He emphasized the importance of disease prevention to improve public health.

The training workshop was facilitated by Magdi Samaan, a representatives of the Biosafety and Laboratory Biosecurity Program from the WHO headquarters, and Caroline Brown, the program manager of Influenza & Other Respiratory Pathogens at WHO/Europe.

The next step in Dushanbe is support by the WHO in developing a training curriculum in biosafety for regional and national laboratories in Tajikistan.