Building Biorisk Capability in Southeast Asia

Biorisk Management Training in Myanmar

Biorisk Management Training in Myanmar

The past decade has witnessed emerging infectious diseases such as SARS, H1N1 and the Avian Influenza – each adversely affecting the lives and economies of those in affected regions. An important first step in containing such outbreaks is to manage laboratory biorisk through safe handling of infectious biological materials in the country first affected by such outbreak.

To strengthen the capability in the regional countries, a joint programme by Temasek Foundation and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory – the Capacity and Capability Building in Laboratory Biorisk Management has been set up since 2010 to impart knowledge on laboratory biorisk management of emerging infectious diseases to professionals from five ASEAN countries. Aimed at building capabilities within the relevant agencies, the programme hopes to strengthen each country’s national health development resources in terms of capacity building, surveillance, information sharing, research and training for laboratory biosafety and biosecurity (Biorisk).

The inaugural training programme was held in 2010, where 25 professionals from Laos were trained. This year, 30 laboratory personnel from the health and veterinary agencies in Myanmar were similarly trained in managing biorisks.In the second phase, trainers shortlisted from the first phase will collectively develop a specific Biorisk management programme for their respective institutes in Myanmar. Through the sharing of knowledge and institutionalisation of safe laboratory practices, it is hoped that we will all be better prepared for future emerging diseases.