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NTI | bio and Africa CDC Convene Biosecurity and Biosafety Experts from Central Africa

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From
October 1-3, 2019 in Libreville, Gabon, NTI’s biosecurity program (NTI | bio)
partnered with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa
CDC) to convene more than 40 experts from nine countries in the Central African
region to advance biosafety and biosecurity. The event was the second in a
series of workshops to advance 
Africa CDC’s
Initiative to Strengthen Biosecurity and Biosafety
, launched during the
2019 NTI
Global
Biosecurity Dialogue
 at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The
workshop was designed to help the Africa CDC Central Africa Regional
Collaborating Centre and its member countries identify and prioritize actions
to fill biosecurity and biosafety gaps, leveraging national and regional
resources.  The effort builds on NTI’s
work to advance the achievement of specific biosafety and biosecurity targets
as part of the development of national and regional health security- action plans.
The workshop also advanced Africa CDC’s efforts to develop a continent-wide model
framework to support national biosafety and biosecurity implementation; an African
Union High Consequence Agents and Toxins list; biosecurity and biosafety implementation
guidance for laboratories and regulatory agencies; and a laboratory biosafety
and biosecurity training strategy. 

Workshop
participants included key staff from all nine countries across the human
health, animal health, and defense and security sectors. They developed
concrete actions to address biosecurity and biosafety challenges common among Central
African countries. Among them: 

  • The
    Africa CDC Central Africa Regional Collaborating Centre agreed to set realistic
    biosecurity and biosafety capacity building goals for the region and track
    progress.  They also agreed to request that
    Member States nominate a multi-sectoral body for reporting on successes and
    challenges in achieving these goals  and apply
    regional solutions to common challenges and facilitate sharing of lessons
    learned;
  • The
    Africa CDC Central Africa Regional Collaborating Centre pledged to fill
    recognized biosecurity training gaps by coordinating a regional effort, through
    partnerships with Africa CDC’s Institute for Workforce Development, Columbia
    University, and the Association of Public Health Laboratories, to adapt
    existing biosecurity and biosafety training curricula to the Central African
    Member States
  • Representatives
    from Central African Member States who participated in the meeting agreed to nominate
    representative(s) of the region to participate in the African Union Biorisk
    Management Legislative Framework development process and sensitize national and
    regional leadership and technical experts to the Framework to enable timely
    buy-in once it is endorsed by the African Union.

The
workshop was a collaboration with the African Union, the African Centre for
Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at the U.S. Department of
Defense.

Learn
more about the Global Biosecurity Dialogue Project 
here.

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