Managing Dangerous Pathogens : African Lab Technicians Enhance Capacity

Experts from 14 African countries are sharing experience to better respond to epidemic in a three-day workshop in Yaounde.

The continuing emergence and re-emergence of dangerous pathogens of epidemic potential such as Ebola, Marburg, Rift Valley fever, Plague, Monkeypox, Lassa Fever, SARS, Tularaemia, Borreliosis, Melioidosis, etc is a permanent threat to the health of populations around the world especially on the African continent. This is a major challenge to global health security. As such, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network (EDPLN), began meeting in Yaounde yesterday, August 13, 2019, with main objective to enhance networking of public health reference laboratories for prevention, preparedness, early detection, investigation and timely response of outbreak of such diseases, including high-threat infectious hazards. 
Opening the workshop which gathered laboratory technicians from 14 African countries was the Secretary General at the Ministry of Public Health, Sinata Koulla-Shiro. He said discussions will help improve the networking of public health reference laboratories for the prevention, preparation, early detection, and real-time response of emerging diseases at high risk of infection. 
The Resident Representative of WHO, Habimana Phanuel said the Regional Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network (EDPLN) was established in August 2017, to enhance capacities of laboratories in the Region to detect and diagnose outbreaks of emerging and dangerous pathogens (EDPs). He recalled that the network is made up of global and regional EDPLN networks of high security human and veterinary diagnostic laboratories, who contribute to outbreak response and preparedness as well as rapid development of diagnostic assays for emerging and infectious pathogens globally. The current meeting of EDPLN, Habimana Phanuel said is to enable laboratory experts share best practices and experiences while improving their performances and that of their different countries to quickly detect and respond to what is today known as emerging dangerous pathogens such as Ebola. The WHO has set standards and guidelines which the laboratory must follow in responding to any epidemic. 
 

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