Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, October 22, 2014: The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) will host workshops geared at strengthening the Caribbean’s ability to prepare and respond to outbreak situations such as the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
From November 17 – 21, CARPHA, in collaboration with the Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis (CHA) unit of PAHO/WHO, will provide two training workshops on Infectious Substances Shipping Training and Bio-safety Practices for the Clinical Laboratory, at its Port of Spain, Trinidad headquarters.
Laboratory professionals from across the Caribbean who complete the World Health Organization Shipping Infectious Substances course will be certified to prepare shipments of laboratory samples. Successful participants will be certified for a period of two years to handle and package Category A Infectious Substances, such as samples from suspected cases of Ebola virus disease.
CARPHA will also train personnel in bio-safety measures, practiced in the laboratory, which include infection control, proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and waste management measures.
It is expected that laboratory technicians actively involved in the packaging of laboratory samples, for the purpose of international transport, will in turn provide similar training to other colleagues at institutional and country level.
Both the Shipping and Bio-safety courses are in accordance with WHO Guidance on regulations for the transport of Infectious Substances 2013-2014 and WHO Biorisk Management Programme respectively.