HSP and the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) Successfully Conducted the Biorisk Management (BRM) Workshop for Life Science Research Institutions in Abuja, Nigeria
On August 22-23, 2022, Health Security Partners and the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) successfully conducted the Biorisk Management (BRM) Workshop for Life Science Research Institutions in Abuja, Nigeria. Leaders from Nigerian veterinary and medical universities conducting life science research gathered for the two-day workshop to discuss the importance of institutionalizing biorisk management policies and learn best practices. Day 1 began with welcome remarks given by Dr. Rufus E. Ebegba, Director-General/CEO of NBMA; Dr. Levin Damisah, Office of the National Security Advisor; a representative of Hon. Joseph N. Ekumankama, Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Health; a representative of Mohammed H. Abdullahi, Honorable Minister, Federal Ministry of Environment; Dr. Prasad Kuduvalli, Director of Scientific Programs, HSP; and Dr. Kirsten Weand of the Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP). Day 1 featured discussion that highlighted the need for increased biorisk management in university settings, a review of the National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan (developed by NBMA), an introduction on international frameworks for health security, and a presentation on dual use research of concern (DURC). Participants engaged in moderated case-study discussions, led by national and international subject matter experts. On the evening of the first day, a networking dinner was held for all of the participants. Day 2 began with a presentation on BRM systems and the international standard ISO 35001:2019 and continued with how institutions should appoint a biorisk officer and implement an institutional biorisk committee. How to build a strong culture of responsibility within an institution was discussed along with incident reporting and learning and emergency response mechanisms for BRM. This was followed by a discussion on the importance of cost-effective and sustainable laboratory infrastructure for institutions. Throughout both days, Q&A sessions featured lively discussion from participants and speakers. HSP is grateful for the support of NBMA and Dr. Rufus Ebegba, Director-General/CEO, for jointly hosting this successful event. We look forward to future collaboration with NBMA as we institute challenge grants that will develop and implement BRM systems.
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