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Biosurveillance Supports Public Health Response

Training in Senegal and Guinea Supports Future Ebola Response

Reactionary responses to Ebola virus outbreaks almost always leave local public health officials scrambling to mitigate its impacts. In the wake of the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola virus epidemic, local and international partners scaled up efforts to increase laboratory diagnostic and surveillance capacity, while improving bio-risk management in impacted countries.

Working in collaboration with local health officials, our goal was to enhance biosurveillance and biosafety and biosecurity (BS&S) in the region, improving future response efforts.

MRIGlobal implemented training sessions for human and animal health professionals in Senegal and Guinea: 

  • In Dakar, Senegal, we hosted BS&S training at the Laboratoire National de l’Elevage et de Recherches Vétérinaires (LNERV)
  • Also in Senegal, we hosted intensive didactic workshops designed to provide potential biosafety officers with a grounding in a broad range of key BS&S topics. Various thematic BS&S workshops were provided to staff from Institut Pasteur de Dakar and the Laboratoire National de Santé Publique (LNSP, National Public Health Laboratory) 
  • In Guinea, BS&S and molecular diagnostics training at the DTRA-donated mobile diagnostics laboratory (MDL) managed by the Institut National de Santé Publique de Guinée (INSP) 
  • Also in Guinea, three representatives from the LCDV participated in BS&S training events for laboratory leadership and laboratory staff, while two participated in molecular diagnostics training at the MDL

Participants from all institutions were willing and eager to share their personal experiences, challenges, and solutions with their colleagues. Inclusion of participants from human and veterinary laboratories allowed them to share lessons learned, get feedback on ongoing efforts, and find inspiration for how to implement BS&S and diagnostic improvements at their institutions. This inclusive training also allowed for exposure to ideas, policies, and techniques that participants would not traditionally encounter. Establishing open communication and trust between personnel at different human and veterinary diagnostic institutions through blended training opportunities increased the potential collaborative capacity-building, disease surveillance, and outbreak response activities.

The molecular diagnostics laboratory in Guinea remains in operation, serving as a local public health resource and first line of effective surveillance for the community.   

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