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FAO Sub-regional training for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries on Transport of Infectious Substances held in Abu Dhabi

27 June 2016 - A Sub-regional training on Transport of Infectious Substance was held in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) from 29 to 31 May 2016. The training was organized by and held at the FAO Sub-regional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States and Yemen (FAO-SNG) in Abu Dhabi, aiming at building or strengthening basic capacity in animal health for early detection and rapid response to emerging diseases that are threatening animal or human health in the sub-region.

Safe and timely dispatch of biological specimens is an essential step for confirming disease diagnosis in order to initiate control measures as soon as possible to minimize human or animal disease spread and reduce public health and socio-economic impacts caused by disease outbreaks. Shipping Infectious Substances is a task that is strictly regulated and requires specific obligatory training. The primary objective of the training course was to build the national capacities for sending specimens to international reference laboratories for confirmatory diagnosis. The course offered participants the opportunity to learn about classification of Infectious Substances as a part of Dangerous Goods, related international regulations and other key issues involved in the shipping of infectious substances, using WHO Guidance on regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances as the basic text book. The participants also practiced packaging, marking, labelling and documentation of samples of infectious substances as essential steps for organizing such shipments in compliance with the applicable regulations.

The three-day training course was opened with remarks by Mr. Mehdi Drissi, FAO Representative in the United Arab Emirates and Sub-regional Coordinator for the Gulf Cooperation Council States (GCCS) and Yemen. The training assembled 8 officials from veterinary services, research and diagnostic laboratories from Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, and was led by FAO’s Animal Health Service staff.  Upon successful completion of the course and passing the final exam, participants received a training certificate which is a prerequisite for shipping category A infectious substances for confirmatory diagnosis or research purposes.

The training course was considered highly successful by all participants and deemed important for their day-to-day work


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