Outbreaks of infectious diseases pose a substantial risk for public health, especially in remote rural regions where the disease surveillance infrastructure often is limited, as qualified laboratory specialists, diagnostic capabilities are mostly located in cities. However, during local infectious disease outbreaks and pandemics, it is critical that such resources are available in these locations to support the population and prevent potential larger outbreaks; this has been true also in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To support the Republic of Uzbekistan with such capacity needs, Uzbek experts were trained in the deployment of mobile laboratory units from March 25th to April 1st 2022, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. This training session was part of the activities of Project 53 “Strengthening the National Legal Framework and Provision of Specialized Training on Bio-Safety and Bio-Security in Central Asian and South-East and Eastern European Countries”, funded by the European Union (EU) in the frame of the EU Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence initiative (CoE) and implemented by the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC). The training was hosted by the Republican Specialized Scientific and Practical Medical Center for Epidemiology, Microbiology, Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (RSSPMCEMIPD) of the Republic of Uzbekistan and was delivered by the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology (IMB) of Germany.
Running a mobile lab in real life scenarios: a series of practice-oriented training sessions
This was the third training in a series of training courses conducted by IMB to enhance the capacities of the Uzbek experts from RSSPMCEMIPD and the Research Institute of Virology (RIV) of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the handling and use of the mobile laboratory equipment. The series of training-workshops are based on the two diagnostic mobile laboratory units which were produced by IMB and handed over to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan in July 2021 to support the response to COVID-19 outbreak. These mobile laboratories are equipped to allow for the analysis of diagnostic samples against a variety of pathogens in remote and rural regions where stationary laboratory capacities are not available. The laboratories were provided to Uzbek stakeholders to enhance their capacity to detect and respond to the outbreaks of highly infectious diseases.
The practice-oriented approach of the training enabled the trainees to practise all aspects of running the mobile lab in real life scenarios. The trainees were encouraged to autonomously apply their skills in sample handling and real-time PCR and react to new situations with little guidance. The training also envisaged a daily debrief where all challenges addressed were discussed.
This training event will be followed by two field exercises planned for 2022 showcasing the deployment of the mobile laboratories and work under simulated disease outbreak conditions.
For further information on the EU CBRN COE Project 53, feel free to consult the project overview available on Projects.
- CBRN areas
- Bio-safety/bio-securityCrisis managementFirst responsePublic health impact mitigationSafety and security
- CBRN categories
- CoE Region
- CA - Central Asia