- Category: Advocacy & Partnerships
- Published: 18 December 2015
The IFBA recognizes that senior governmental support and funding is central to the effectiveness and sustained implementation of biosafety programs and the work of our member biosafety associations worldwide. We are a strong advocate on behalf of our members in raising the priority for biosafety and biosecurity among National Ministries of Health and Agriculture, senior government officials, international agencies and other authorities to ensure an engaged and sustained country-level partnership and funding for biosafety programs.
The 2012 Year of International Biosafety Advocacy was launched at the 2nd IFBA International Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa to raise awareness and advocate for biosafety strategies in under-addressed regions of the world. Stephen Lewis, Co-Director AIDS-Free World, delivered the keynote address and reminded delegates of the vital value of the work that is done in laboratories worldwide. He stressed the centrality of biosafety to global public health and called for increased attention and resources to be paid to this indispensable issue.
Watch a clip from Steven Lewis’ keynote address on IFBA’s YouTube Channel here.
Addressing this issue requires a global commitment and the leveraging of multiple stakeholders at the international, regional and local levels. The key to progress also includes the integration of biosafety programs within the greater framework of strengthening laboratory capacity and health systems. To this end, the IFBA collaborates with national animal and health authorities, with international agencies (e.g. WHO, OIE, BWC, UN1540, Interpol, Stop TB Partnership) and with like-minded professional associations (e.g. International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science, African Society for Laboratory Medicine).
The IFBA is pleased to have officially join the Stop TB Partnership, a proactive force in global TB control. Established in 2001, and housed by the World Health Organization, the Partnership is a network of organizations working together to realize the common vision of a world free of TB. The IFBA is collaborating with the Global Laboratory Initiative and supporting the implementation of the Global Plan to Stop TB in the areas of biosafety advocacy, sustainable risk-based approaches to biocontainment laboratory infrastructure, biosafety training and capacity building. The IFBA’s Biocontainment Engineering Working Group has worked closely with the Global Laboratory Initiative of the Partnership in the development of a ventilated workstation for AFB Microscopy that is cost-effective and locally sustainable.
To better support member countries in ensuring the safety and security of biological materials and emerging technologies, INTERPOL created Operation S3OMMET (The Safe, Secure, Surveillance of Microbiological Material and Emerging Technologies). Raising awareness among law enforcement, public health officials, biosafety professionals and academia in regions where it is most needed is a key goal of the project. Operation S3OMMET constitutes the cornerstone of collaboration between the INTERPOL CBRNE Sub-Directorate, the International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) and CORDS (Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance).
Download the Operation S3ommet fact sheet here
The IFBA is pleased to collaborate with the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences (IFBLS) to strengthen laboratory biosafety and biosecurity by raising awareness and building biosafety capacity among laboratory professionals and biomedical scientists worldwide. The IFBLS is a global organization working to increase opportunities for the development of laboratory professionals through education and partnership. IFBLS worldwide members include national associations comprised of local medical laboratory scientists and laboratory technicians.
The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) is a pan‐African professional body working to advocate for the critical role and needs of laboratory medicine and networks throughout Africa. Framed within the broader context of effective laboratory systems, the ASLM advocates for biosafety strategies and programs, and provides the training and tools needed for the implementation of biosafety best practices. Together with the African Biosafety Association (AfBSA), the IFBA and ASLM are working to integrate biosafety into national policies and programs, to improve sustainable laboratory infrastructure and equipment, and to increase biosafety skills and competencies among the laboratory workforce.