Lab Matters Summer 2018 - Page 22

public health preparedness and response Supporting and Promoting Biosafety Worldwide by Michael Marsico, MS, senior specialist, Biosafety and Biosecurity To support APHL’s 2018-2020 Strategic Map, the Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) and Biosafety and Biosecurity (BBC) committees have increased global activities to “expand international engagement and learn from established laboratory systems.” The committees are contributing to APHL’s role in implementing global health security initiatives, as well as defining how networks such as the African Public Health Laboratory Network could leverage the US-managed Laboratory Response Network model for their own purposes. BBC members and PHPR staff have presented biosafety lessons learned and initiatives to strengthen biosafety across the US at African Society of Laboratory Medicine conferences. In addition, APHL staff have reviewed and contributed to the development of biorisk management frameworks, and convened stakeholders to discuss needs in biosafety. Other recent global activities include providing recommendations for in-country member instructors for biosafety cabinet certification and other biosafety courses, as well as developing 20 LAB MATTERS Summer 2018 and reviewing presentations on biosafety and biosecurity, emergency operations— including incident management systems—and national laboratory systems for the Global Health Security Curriculum. APHL staff, in collaboration with the Global Health Program, have assisted Ghana with biosafety activities. Utilizing the BBC-developed Biorisk Management for Clinical and Public Health Laboratories Framework, APHL staff drafted a preliminary Biorisk Management Framework for Ghana and plans to work with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Ghana Office, the Ghana Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and other in-country partners as wells as a consultant, Integrated Quality Laboratory Services (IQLS), to convene a key stakeholders workshop to further refine the Biorisk Management Framework. The Framework offers a comprehensive, systematic approach to laboratory biorisk management, and includes essential elements needed for Ghanaian laboratories to assess their operations and better integrate and enhance their biosafety and biosecurity In April 2018, Biosafety and Biosecurity senior specialist Michael Marsico spoke at the 21st European Biological Safety Association Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark on efforts to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity in US public health and clinical laboratories. Other topics discussed during the conference included concerns about biosafety regulation and challenges public health laboratories face, such as buy-in from clinical laboratories. Representatives from several countries expressed interest in APHL’s efforts and in becoming APHL members. Attending this conference has allowed APHL to continue to promote its efforts to strengthen biosafety, as well as to foster a stronger community of biosafety professionals. photo above: Michael Marsico speaks at the 21st European Biological Safety Association Conference in Copenhagen programs—whether in a human, veterinary or environmental laboratory. Moving forward, the BBC plans to collaborate more with APHL’s Global Health program and other partners to provide expertise to countries on developing and implementing biorisk management plans, safety related training programs and promoting the value of biosafety in all laboratories. BBC members are working to develop sessions for upcoming international conferences to showcase the successes and challenges of biosafety and biosecurity in public health laboratories. The BBC will also continue to be a resource to APHL’s international members and partners, developing tools to distribute and providing training