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Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Diagnostics Training in West Africa

Global Health Surveillance

Following its support for the US Department of Defense efforts during the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, MRIGlobal continues its engagement in West Africa supporting the US Department of Defense’s Ebola outbreak recovery programs.

Our team works with host-nation governments, national health care personnel, members of the international donor community, and contractor partners to enhance each nation’s capacity to manage future disease outbreaks. Our mission is broad, and has included staffing of diagnostics laboratories, biosurveillance-related technical training, biosafety and security training, test and evaluation support, supply and logistics, maintenance and operations support. We also provide SME guidance during laboratory facility design, construction, engineering, and stand-up efforts.

MRIGlobal also provides SMART Training for BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs in Africa:

  • Research on highly infectious live viruses and bacteria, such as Ebola Virus, Tuberculosis, and Anthrax, is necessary to develop drug treatments, vaccines, and easy-to-use tests to determine infections. This important work is only performed in high (Biosafety Level 3, BSL-3) and maximum (BSL-4) containment laboratories.
  • For BSL-4 qualification, students first train in a simulator laboratory where they learn about personal protective equipment and how to work safely in BSL-4 suits and the laboratory environment.
  • The SMART training program introduces virtual reality video as a tool to allow students to visualize the work in a BSL-3 or BSL-4 lab prior to the suits-on training and later as a review. It combines on-site classes with Web-based resources that are useful to the students during their mentorship program.
  • MRIGlobal has developed a training approach to maximize learning and to develop knowledge and wisdom by using a blending learning technique called OWNiT.  Blended learning includes traditional learning approaches (video, lectures, PowerPoint) enhanced by simulations, gamification and problem sets, social media (connecting people during learning), virtual reality, and augmented reality.