DOHA: Hamad Medical Corporation's (HMC) Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology recently held two Biorisk Management Workshops to inform participants on the latest developments and World Health Organization (WHO) standards in the field of laboratory biosafety and biosecurity.
The two-day workshops were held in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City.
Laboratories all over Qatar, HMC hospitals, Primary Healthcare Centers, the Supreme Council of Health, the Army, the Police and Qatar Petroleum were invited to the event.
Participants were shotlisted and included, laboratory consultants, specialists, safety officers, technologists and technicians.
Dr Asma Al-Marwani, Clinical Scientist, Hematology from HMC's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology said, "The department currently adheres to all the relevant standards of laboratory safety yet we are vulnerable to the biohazards while performing specimen tests and investigations. This workshop aims to empower our staff with the necessary skills, tools, knowledge and confidence to advise and guide on sustainable biorisk management that will reduce the threat of infectious diseases in the local laboratory environment and the community."
The course was facilitated by Dr Godwin Justus Wilson, Specialist Clinical Microbiology, HMC and a WHO-certified facilitator in Biorisk Management. Dr Wilson is Deputy Chairman, Safety Committee of The Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at HMC and had been selected by the Supreme Council of Health to represent Qatar in the Advanced Biorisk Management Trainer Conference organized by the WHO in Egypt.
Dr Wilson as part of the responsibilities of the course was keen to train 24 persons from various laboratory specializations at Qatar to advice and guide on sustainable biorisk management.
The workshop addressed biosafety and biosecurity through various scenarios that are normally found in laboratories. Participants learned how to assess these risks, mitigate them, and take necessary measures to prevent recurrence of these risks, as well as specify the duties and responsibilities of those dealing with them, in order to ensure safety of all those involved in the process.
"The use of standard biorisk management processes positively reflects on all laboratory staff and establishes a process to minimize the threat of infectious disease in local laboratory environment," said Dr Wilson.
He added, "The role of the laboratory is not just confined to diagnostic investigations, or collect specimens to study infectious diseases and their causes, but to ensure the safety and security of individuals working in the laboratory as well as the community."
Dr Wilson emphasized, "This should only be done under strict adherence to global standards for biosafety and biosecurity, and biorisk management will help maintain the high quality of the laboratory services." (QNA)