FAO in Kenya

FAO to Enhance Capacity for Safe Transport of Infectious Substances in Eastern and Southern Africa

A training session

Emerging and re-emerging infectious animal and zoonotic diseases pose significant threats to global health security, livelihoods, and economies, especially through trade disruptions. Rapid detection, accurate diagnosis, and timely response are critical in managing these disease outbreaks. However, many countries lack the necessary capacity, equipment, or reagents for such tasks. To address this gap, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, through its Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD), Eastern and Southern Africa, organized a training program on the transport of infectious substances by air, in Nairobi, Kenya, from 3 to 7 June 2024, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Global Health Security  (GHS) program.

This training aimed to equip participants with the skills needed to safely package, label, document, and handle infectious substances in compliance with international regulations. The training program brought together 15 laboratory staff from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, who successfully completed the course which ensures the safe and efficient transport of specimens.

Supported by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “Guidance on regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances” and the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR), the training ensured that participants can competently handle and ship infectious substances. This initiative is part of FAO's commitment to enhancing the region’s capacity to manage disease outbreaks effectively.

The training has not only improved the technical skills of the participants but also contributed significantly to the overall health security in the region by ensuring accurate, complete, and timely diagnostics. This approach by FAO and its partners is a crucial step towards a healthier and more resilient future for all.

Know more on: https://www.fao.org/africa/news/detail-news/en/c/1624196/


Yanira Santana

Emergency Reporting and Outreach Specialist


[email protected]