HSP and Libyan Partners Complete Phase I of Biorisk Officer Training Program
HSP has completed a series of virtual modules for Phase 1 of the Biorisk Officer training program for laboratory professionals from the human and animal health sector in Libya. Phase 1 provided participants with foundational knowledge of biosafety and biosecurity, focused on conducting risk assessments and developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), hierarchy of controls and risk mitigation measures, as well as emergency response, incident reporting and learning. Phase 1, comprised of 8 modules using a “flipped classroom” method, ran from 13 June through 29 June 2021. Participants engaged in robust discussion, especially focused on immediate biosafety and biosecurity concerns surrounding specimen handling and diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2. Participants will spend the next quarter developing biosafety and biosecurity risk assessments and SOPs for their laboratories, incident reporting mechanisms, as well as making some immediate changes in their pathogen handling practices.
Phase 2, which is scheduled to begin in October, will focus on training participants on more advanced topics in biosafety and biosecurity as well as how to begin establishing a biorisk management system at their institution. Towards the end of Phase 2, participants will have the opportunity to take the IFBA exam for international certification in biorisk management. After Phase 2, they will also hone-in on skills to provide training to others and serve as trainers for the country. The key outcome for the program is to have this cohort of BioRisk Officers from key institutions across Libya work together as a biorisk community to advocate for the profession and implement safe and secure laboratory systems.