Improving biosafety, biosecurity in West Africa

BiosecurityImproving biosafety, biosecurity in West Africa

Published 21 November 2016

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency and United States Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (DTRA/SCC-WMD) have selected CH2M to lead efforts in West Africa to broaden its Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) on the African continent and reduce the threat of infectious diseases. The CBEP, developed by the Department of Defense to address global health security issues, was used in 2014 to support international efforts to combat the Ebola virus outbreak and other threats to global health security.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency and United States Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (DTRA/SCC-WMD) have selected CH2M to lead efforts in West Africa to broaden its Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) on the African continent and reduce the threat of infectious diseases. The CBEP, developed by the Department of Defense to address global health security issues, was used in 2014 to support international efforts to combat the Ebola virus outbreak and other threats to global health security.

Under the new $35 million contract which extends to 2019, the CH2M team will work to increase and improve national and local biosafety, biosecurity, and biosurveillance capabilities in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Senegal. The CH2M team will deliver design, engineering, construction, and infrastructure services; as well as provide scientific expertise and training for staff at new and existing laboratory facilities in the region. Further to assist DTRA/SCC-WMD with its overall program objectives for West Africa, the CH2M team will also provide guidance in establishing national legislation on biosafety and biosecurity, and support the development of laboratory policies and procedures that meet international standards.

Ch2m says that the CH2M team, focusing on promoting overall security related to global health and improving health and safety program performance, will:

  • Design and construct new national and regional reference laboratories and infrastructure in Liberia
  • Design and renovate the Central Public Health Reference laboratory and infrastructure in Lakka, Sierra Leone
  • Develop a campus master plan and renovate laboratory facilities and infrastructure in Senegal
  • Develop methodologies and infrastructure to improve safety culture and practices, and the safeguarding of pathogens that raise security concerns at laboratory facilities across the region
  • Provide comprehensive ongoing laboratory staff training and laboratory consumables procurement
  • Provide mentorship and laboratory staffing for surge capability at laboratories throughout the region

According to Ray Tyler, CH2M Program Manager, “CH2M and DTRA/SCC-WMD will work with national and local authorities from the four West African Nations, collaborators from the U.S and other countries, non-governmental organizations, and local businesses to ensure sustainable operations for the new facilities and infrastructure.”

“It’s rewarding to be a part of improving biosafety and biosecurity for millions of people in partner nations,” stated Matthew Sutton, CH2M President, Environment and Nuclear business. “The solutions our people deliver will modernize prevention and response to the threat of infectious diseases and improve health outcomes for communities across the region.”

CH2M notes that it has been assisting DTRA/SCC-WMD through its Biological Threat Reduction Integrating Contract since 2010. DTRA/SCC-WMD has engaged CH2M to help Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao People Democratic Republic comply with international biosafety standards, improve disease detection and reporting, and pathogen security through laboratory and hospital emergency operations center design, engineering, construction and infrastructure services, and biological sciences expertise.

Leave a comment

Register for your own account so you may participate in comment discussion. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to abide by our Comment Guidelines, our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Use. Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief. Names are displayed with all comments. Learn more about Joining our Web Community.
Related Post