Bio-safety/Bio-security: Reducing the Threats

Date: Wednesday, 12 December 2018
Time: 14:30 – 16:00
Location: Benue/Plateau

Session Overview:
Emerging and re-emerging pathogens (e.g., Ebola virus) continue to exacerbate the global threat of infectious diseases. In addition to the threat to public health, there is also the threat posed by the deliberate release or harmful use of highly dangerous pathogens. The 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa has revealed critical gaps in laboratory systems, particularly in their ability to safely and securely handle highly dangerous pathogens and the hazardous waste that is produced by testing.

The main gaps include: (i) inappropriate laboratory facility infrastructure; (ii) poor operation and maintenance of biocontainment equipment; (iii) inappropriate hazardous waste management; (iv) lack of adequate training programs; and (v) lack of regulations.

As a consequence, there has recently been increasing attention for enhancing biosafety and biosecurity, which are key pillars of international health security. Many regional and international organizations are working through various initiatives and programs to address the gaps.

The main goal of this symposium is to offer a platform for biorisk management stakeholders to share success stories of innovation, knowledge, and experiences and build partnerships and collaborations.

Objectives of the symposium:

  1. Provide the participants with an updated overview on a laboratory biorisk management framework,
  2. Discuss sustainable and cost-effective approaches to laboratory facility infrastructure improvement and biocontainment engineering equipment, and
  3. Share experiences and best practices in biosafety and biosecurity.
  • Laboratory Biorisk Management Framework: Reconsidering the Traditional Biosafety Paradigm
    • Christina Scheel, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States
  • The Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) in Africa
    • Jarrad Marles, US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, DTRA, United States
  • Sustainable Laboratories for High-Consequence Pathogens in Africa
    • Benjamin Wakefield, Centre on Global Health Security, United Kingdom
  • Costing Waste Management on Conventional OPEN Platform VL in Burundi
    • Nadia Yakhelef, Solthis, France
  •  Co-Conveners:
    • Linda Oskam
      • DATOS, Netherlands
    • Abdoulaye Nikiema
      • African Society for Laboratory Medicine, Burkina Faso
  •  Speakers
    • Christina Scheel
      • Laboratory Biorisk Management Framework: Reconsidering the Traditional Biosafety Paradigm
    • Jarrad Marles (US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, DTRA)
      • The Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) in Africa
    • Benjamin Wakefield
      • Centre on Global Health Security; Chatham House, London)
    • Nadia Yakhelef
      • Solthis, France