Lab Matters Fall 2016 - Page 16

global health EPHI bioengineers review airflow measurements from a BSC Instructor Bob Jones teaches Ethiopian Public Health Institute bioengineers how to take BSC airflow measurements GHSA and Biosafety Cabinet Certification around the Globe by Samantha Dittrich, MPH, manager, Global Health Security Agenda; Sherrie Staley, MPH, senior specialist, Global Health; Kim Lewis, MSc, consultant, APHL; and Kaiser Shen, MSc, MPH, senior specialist, Global Health The term “biosafety cabinet” (BSC) has been widely used to describe a variety of containment devices designed to provide personnel, the laboratory environment, and work materials added protection from biohazardous materials including primary cultures, stocks and diagnostic specimens. Effectiveness depends on continuous maintenance, servicing and proper use. Certification of BSCs must be done periodically in order to ensure that they are functioning properly and providing a safe work environment. However, many laboratories around the world do not have access to expertise and equipment to certify BSCs. T Vietnam and Indonesia in the coming months. Said Bob Jones, an Eagleson Institute trainer, “Education, training and mentoring are the three steps in developing BSC certifiers. This results in laboratory workers improving their practices, procedures, processes and, ultimately, personal safety.” Between February and October 2016, Phase One BSC Certification training has been completed in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Vietnam. So far, approximately 20-30 BSCs have been serviced and certified in Uganda and Tanzania. Additional cabinets will be certified in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ethiopia, APHL has been proactive in providing support for biosafety following the 2014 Ebola outbreak which highlighted the need for safe handling of infectious materials, specifically across African countries. APHL recognizes the need to institutionalize in-country sustainable programs for servicing of BSCs at medical laboratories around the world. Training of competent personnel and certification of BSCs continues to be a challenge to attain and sustain in developing countries, largely due to the limited number of available and appropriately tailored trainings and certification programs. Under GHSA, APHL hopes to further expand BSC certification training, and link mentorship and competency evaluation as part of a comprehensive plan for servicing BSCs. o address this critical component of laboratory safety, APHL has implemented a BSC certification program in a select number of countries in Africa and Asia to address issues pertaining to BSCs through the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). Implemented in partnership with the Eagleson Institute, the three-phase program offers training, mentoring and evaluation of in-country engineers on the many facets of certifying BSCs, with remote instructor support between each phase. Students learn how to triage BSCs for problems and how to perform the primary tests included in certification. Emphasis is on the importance of students assessing as many cabinets as possible. 14 LAB MATTERS Fall 2016 PublicHealthLabs @APHL APHL.org