The Department of Medical Sciences promotes health laboratory capacity building for ASEAN in responding with highly pathogenic infection and life threatening agents.

6  ต.ค. 2560

The Department of Medical Sciences (DMSc), Ministry of Public Health of Thailand had conducted training courses to strengthen health laboratory capacity for ASEAN member states in scheme of bioengineering control. Therefore, the training course emphasis on the biosafety and biosecurity measures to ensure that all health laboratories in ASEAN are ready to cope with the highly pathogenic infections and life threatening agents.

      Dr. Sukhum Karnchanapimai, the Director-General of the Department of Medical Sciences said 
that the biosafety and biosecurity are global concerns since they have been stated both in the International Health Regulation and Global Health Security Agenda. Thailand is a leading country for Detect-1 National Laboratory System of the Global Health Security Agenda which one of the activities in the package is to provide support for biosafety. As the DMSc is a national reference laboratory for Thailand, its critical roles are coordinating for disease surveillance resources, strengthening the role of laboratory surveillance in the control of emerging and dangerous pathogens and also establishing for laboratory networking. This year, the project entitled “Biosafety engineering and control for health laboratories in ASEAN” has been implementing by the DMSc with the support from Canada; leading country for Prevent-3 Biosafety and Biosecurity Action Package, under the Global Partnership Program. The project aims to build capacity on bioengineers in-country for ASEAN member states.

The Director-General also added that the biological safety cabinets (BSCs) are the primary engineering control for the minimization of exposure to potentially infectious materials and is the containment device essential to protect worker, product and environment. To ensure that the equipment works properly the BSC needs to undergo maintenance and re-certify regularly. However, a data on BSC certification in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam and Thailand showed that only 30 % of the BSC could pass the certification by US-NSF/ANSI49 standard. Various problems were identified such as wrong installation, improper certification, users’ lack of understanding, etc. That’s why the DMSc proposing training courses on BSC technology and BSC Certifier. An Introduction course for Biological Safety Cabinet technology: user’s essential workshop was firstly organized during 4-6 July 2017. The objective of the workshop is to provide a comprehensive overview of BSCs such as basic concepts, selection criteria and certification requirements. After finishing the course in July, participants had to conduct a kind of training to pass on their knowledge at their workplaces and report their activity in the next course.  

During 14-15 September 2017, the DMSc convened a follow up workshop which was train-the-trainer program. Participant would come to Thailand to report their progresses, problem encountered, suggestion, future plan and to share their ideas on how to customize the training material to fit with each country and how to sustain a bioengineering control in ASEAN. After completion of this training course, there were 23 trainers on BSC technology from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand from this program. With the leading of the DMSc, all ASEAN health laboratories would join together in expanding this knowledge about comprehensive overview of BSCs and promote the biosafety and biosecurity concepts throughout all health laboratories in ASEAN.