February 04, 2021

HSP Supports Afghanistan’s Veterinary Regional Laboratories’ Biorisk Management Expansion By Holding Virtual Workshop

Over the last two weeks, HSP Partners Dr. Wahid Bahir and Mr. Tawfiq Hussainkhil, have been holding virtual workshop sessions with personnel from eight of Afghanistan’s regional veterinary laboratories to help expand their biorisk management procedures and protocols. It is important these laboratories maintain the highest degree of biorisk management possible because they routinely deal with dangerous, zoonotic pathogens like Anthrax, Brucella, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), as well as SARS-CoV-2 at certain labs.

During the course of the trainings, each of the laboratories conducted a biosecurity and biosafety risk assessment, using internationally recognized tools, in order to identify areas for improvement. The results of these assessments show that although all biosafety protocols are being followed, the labs still need improvements to facility biorisk practices and their communication systems. Participants in the workshop also voiced concern about COVID-19 specifically and how they can fortify their protocols in order to protect themselves from the disease.

The important lessons from this virtual training are critical in protecting the health and security of both the laboratory workers themselves, as well as the communities they serve, which make up 33% of the Afghan population.

This workshop series is a direct result of a previous training HSP conducted, which impressed Afghanistan’s Director of Animal Health so much, that he requested subsequent workshops like this one.