ASEAN to strengthen cooperation in bio-safety and bio-security

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/3/16 7:21:03

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will work to strengthen cooperation to build capacity in bio-safety and bio-security for laboratory and hospital technicians, officials and experts agreed Wednesday.

The agreement was made at the ASEAN-Canada Global Partnership Program Forum in Lao capital Vientiane. The three-day meeting aims to enhance and improve laboratory technicians' and policymakers' understanding of bio-safety and bio-security issues and maximize the use of national resources employed to comply with internationally-mandated requirements.

It also aims to improve bio-safety and bio-security for laboratories and hospitals to protect both health workers and patients from occupational hazards associated with the handling of hazardous laboratory supply chemicals and to promote the sharing of experience among ASEAN member states for Lao implementation.

A total of 55 participants including representatives of ASEAN member states, Lao Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Forestry, Defense and related partners participated in the forum. The forum was supported by Global Partnership Canada, reported Lao state-run news agency KPL.

"In recent years, there have been a number of new and emerging deadly infectious disease outbreaks worldwide, such as Ebola in West Africa, MERS-CoV in Korea and the Zika virus. In Laos, the recent report of Zika virus transmissions and cases of the circulating vaccine-derived polio virus remind us that serious biological threats persist in this region as well," said Head of the Office of the Canada Embassy to Laos Lee Anne Hermann.

The forum on strengthening bio-safety and bio-security is part of Canada's commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda bio-safety and bio-security (Prevent-3) Action Package and efforts to mitigate biological threats in the ASEAN region.

The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) is an effort by nations, international organizations, and civil society to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats.

It also aims to promote global health security as an international priority; and to spur progress toward full implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) pathway, and other relevant global health security frameworks.

Action Package Prevent-3 (APP3) aims to promote national biosafety and biosecurity by providing tools and training for the development, implementation, and maintenance of national biosafety and biosecurity frameworks and oversight systems.

Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

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