Regional Meeting and technical workshop on public health

From: 04/07/2017 0:00 - To: 06/07/2017 0:00
Venue Institut Pasteur, Tunis, 4-6 July 2017

The MediLabSecure project, supported by the European Commission (DG-DEVCO), is a «one health» project aiming at establishing a framework of multisectoral collaboration in order to improve communicable diseases surveillance and biosafety, by building capacity among laboratories of the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions.

Since its beginning in 2014, the MediLabSecure multidisciplinary network of laboratories and public health institutions has been growing and many actions have already been implemented to strengthen awareness, risk assessment, monitoring and control of emerging vector-borne viruses with a «one health» vision.

We convene today for the second regional Meeting and technical workshop in public health of the MediLabSecure project. Eight countries of the MediLabSecure network are represented at this meeting: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and our host, Tunisia.

In line to the proposals raised by the network laboratories’ and public health institutions’ representatives during the MediLabSecure project mid-term meeting held in Paris in December 2015, Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) has been identified as a major health concern for Northern Africa and Middle Eastern countries. To respond to this need, this «one health» meeting has been designed to address clinical, entomological, epidemiological, diagnostic as well as human and animal health aspects of RVFV.

This regional meeting will also be an opportunity to discuss current and common public health issues. For example, two update sessions, one about Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome corona- virus and one about vector control have also been scheduled.

A panel of international specialists and representatives of international organizations and research institutes, has been invited to share the latest breakthroughs on RVFV infections and their related epidemiological and diagnostic aspects. Transversal sessions and group activities on topics such as a novel vector identification tool and laboratory biorisk management have been organised.

To make the most out of this gathering of the network representatives, the third MediLabSecure technical workshop in Public Health has been embedded into this regional meeting, and will focus on RVF risk assessment. A rapid risk assessment exercise on RVF will be carried out, with the help of facilitators from key international agencies and institutions, in a multisectoral manner with representatives of animal health, human health and public health institutions as well as medical entomologists. Therefore, this meeting, by encouraging information exchange, has the aim to foster cross-sectoral dialog focused on ensuring the sustainability of «one health» activities in the involved institutions.

Finally, parallel sessions within each speciality will allow for in-depth discussions among the participants and partners on technical subjects related to the project aims, tools and outcomes, and will contribute to the finetuning of the forthcoming actions.

This regional meeting will result in a broadened engagement and will strengthen and encourage collaborations within the MediLabSecure network and beyond

Submitted by Mohammed bengoumi