In this era of Novel Corona Virus (COVID19) pandemic, which caused so far more than 5 million cases among them more than 1’250’000 deaths worldwide, applying Biosafety and biosecurity measures is becoming more crucial than ever before. Although, Africa still less affected by the pandemic than the rest of the world so far, it remains crucial that African countries take this window of opportunity toenhance their laboratory diagnostic capacity and surveillance systems. This would not be possible without building the capacity of their concerned institutions (hospitals, laboratories, research facilities, etc.) in biosafety and biosecurity to protect the professionals and the wide public.
The African Biological Safety Association (AfBSA) is proposing to accompany the continent in this effort to enhance biosafety and biosecurity measures in Africa. Through its network and expertise, AfBSA shall play a central role in organizing and coordinating training of trainers, regional and country-based trainings, maintenance, and calibration in addition to communication and introduction of Risk-based biosafety and biosecurity assessment methods.
Together with its partners, AfBSA will work with African countries through their regional economic bodies and the African Union Biosafety and Biosecurity Initiative to support the efforts of fighting the current COVID19 pandemic without forgetting the challenges related to endemic diseases mainly zoonosis.
Together, we can change the perception of Biosafety and biosecurity in Africa and help protect our population. Together we will make a difference. As the African proverb wise says “If you want to walk fast, walk alone, and if you want to walk far, walk together”.
Mahamat Fayiz Abakar, President, AfBSA