The German Biosecurity Program enhances capacity of Kazakh scientists through online biosafety and biosecurity trainings

The German-Kazakh Network for Biosafety and Biosecurity project implemented by GIZ in partnership with the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology (IMB), as part of the German Biosecurity Program, held a series of online trainings on biosafety and biosecurity for more than 50 new staff members of its strategic partner Institutions - the National Scientific Center for Especially Dangerous Infections (NSCEDI) with its nine Anti Plague Stations and the Research Institute for Biosafety Problems (RIBSP) in November/December 2020.

The interactive online trainings, led by Dr. Sulushash Zhumabayeva, an experienced trainer from GIZ/Kazakhstan, and Dr. Lukas Peintner, project coordinator from IMB/Germany, enabled the participants to find answers to such questions as: How may I efficiently protect myself from extremely dangerous pathogens? How are blood borne pathogens transmitted? How do I organise a safe transport of patient specimens from the clinics to the diagnostic laboratory?

During the webinars participants addressed such topics as biosafety and biosecurity principles, personal protective equipment, respiratory protection, transmission of blood borne pathogens and the safe transport of patient specimens. In addition, hot topics, such as the current COVID19 pandemic, were also discussed and best practices were compared to the experience from the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology. 

The efforts were highly appreciated by the participants of the online trainings as well as by the management of both institutions. Dr. Toktassyn Yerubayev, Director of the NSCEDI, noted that these webinars proved to be an efficient way to build capacity of new staff members of the NSCEDI as well as those from its remote Anti Plague Stations. Dr. Abeuov, Director of the RIBSP Training Center, highlighted that the trainings were organized at a high level, held in Kazakh, and provided for enhancement of the RIBSP staff professional qualifications on issues related to biosafety and biosecurity.

Considering the global COVID 19 pandemic situation, RIBSP kindly suggested that the German-Kazakh Network for Biosafety and Biosecurity project hold biosafety and biosecurity trainings/webinars in the Kazakh language for specialists of scientific research institutes and scientific laboratories located in all regions of Kazakhstan.

The German-Kazakh Network for Biosafety and Biosecurity project believes that webinars are an efficient tool to enable cutting edge training to Kazakh scientists in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. The Project envisions to offer further webinars to its partner institutions, as the knowledge and skills obtained during trainings will help the participants to more efficiently protect themselves from extremely dangerous infections, as well as to more effectively struggle the COVID 19 pandemic.