KU, ABM ink MoU to institutionalise Biorisk management practices across Pakistan

KARACHI   -  The University of Karachi and the Association for Biorisk Management-Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to launch a collaborative effort for implementing the Pakistan Biorisk Management (PBMP) Programme to control zoonotic pathogens by introducing and strengthening biosafety and biosecurity practices in the biological laboratories of the University of Karachi. K

U Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi and the Executive Director of ABM-Pakistan Dr Asghar Ali inked the MoU documents during a ceremony at the conference room of the KU Dr A Q Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE), said a spokesperson of the KU on Monday.

The Programme Director and Health Security Partners Dr Javed Khan, the President of Pakistan Biological Safety Association Prof Dr Saeed Khan, KIBGE faculty and chairpersons of several departments of the University of Karachi were also in attendance.

As per the MoU, the KU and the ABM— a non-governmental organisation stationed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa— agreed to institutionalise Biorisk management practices in priority labs across the country.

The programme aims to control zoonotic pathogens by introducing and strengthening biosafety and biosecurity practices in existing laboratories in AZK, KPK, Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan.

Under this programme, the ABM will work with laboratories within veterinary hospitals and medical facilities as well as research centres and universities that deal with pathogens and toxins.

According to the MoU, the ABM will provide regular technical support to the laboratory regarding biosafety and biosecurity, as well as furnish profiles, conduct biorisk assessment and reassess the relevant laboratories of the University of Karachi, and recommend BRM mitigation measures accordingly.

The ABM will also train the lab staff and field staff in biosafety and biosecurity and will provide complementary biosafety kits to the training participants, and strengthen the laboratory by providing critical SOPs, essential laboratory equipment, and reagents.

The KU will furnish a list of nominated participants per ABM criteria for training, workshop, seminar, and meeting, and execute laboratory mitigation measures and BRM protocols to ensure biosafety and biosecurity.

Earlier, Dr Asghar Ali informed the audience that ABM-Pakistan is working vision of safe and secure handling of hazardous material and a zoonoses-free Pakistan and wants to develop biorisk management expertise to deliver innovative, sustainable solutions to the biorisk challenges in the country through awareness, and capacity building and strengthening. 

Dr Javed Khan mentioned that this project is essential for biorisk management and safety in labs of Pakistan and hoped that the KU would further train the faculty members of other varsities.

The KU VC Prof Dr Khalid Iraqi shared that KU will lead and help other universities of Sindh regarding spreading the importance and benefits of biorisk management in labs.

He observed that the KU faculty members will learn a lot from the experience of ABMPakistan and become active members of their countrywide platform.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt