September 2018 OIE Regional Seminar for the National Focal Points for Laboratories (Africa)  

Tunis, 20 September 2018. The Regional Seminar for OIE National Focal Points for Veterinary Laboratories was organised in Tunis (Tunisia) from 18 to 20 September 2018 by the OIE Programmes Department and the OIE Sub Regional Representation for North Africa, respectively for technical and organisational aspects.

The Tunisian Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, H.E. Samir Taïeb, opened the workshop in the presence of Dr. Malek Zrelli (Chief Veterinary Officer of Tunisia), Dr. Rachid Bouguedour (OIE Sub-Regional Representative for North Africa) and Dr Jennifer Lasley (OIE Programmes Department).

A total of 36 African countries participated in the seminar (Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chad, Cameron, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Sao Tome et Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, Togo and Tunisia). Experts from OIE Reference Centres based in Botswana [(Botswana Vaccine Institute), South Africa (ARC-Onderstepoort), Ethiopia (African Union Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre), Italy (Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise “G. Caporale”) and USA (Sandia National Laboratories)] delivered presentations during the seminar and interacted with the audience. The Executive Director of the World Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (WAVLD) and a representative from the WHO Lyon Office also participated in the Seminar by delivering several presentations.

The seminar was attended also the President of the Biological Standard Commission of the OIE, Prof Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann, who gave several presentations and, in particular, updated the audience on the main OIE principles and requirements behind the OIE Reference Centres and provided an overview of the work of the Biological Standard Commission.

This Seminar was a continuation of previous one organized in Harare, Zimbabwe in November 2016 with the aim of providing participants with knowledge of the responsibilities of the National Focal Points in the standard-setting process as well as to provide more advanced knowledge of the OIE international standards relevant to laboratories by creating and promoting a culture of safety and quality. Dedicated topics such as transport of specimens, biological risk analysis, quality management systems, laboratory networking and the role of National Focal Points were also discussed. The Seminar also allowed experience-sharing and discussion between countries of the region and inform them on ongoing OIE projects in their sphere of competence (e.g. EBO-SURSY project). The main messages conveyed during the 3-day Seminar are as follows:

  • Laboratories provide an evidence base and are critical to decision making in the Veterinary Services. Since laboratories are so essential, the challenges related to sample transport, biorisk analysis, quality management systems, and laboratory networking become even more critical to address;
  • Communication and collaboration with those collecting samples in the field—or those sending samples to OIE Reference Laboratories for confirmation—is crucial for producing accurate results;
  • While it may seem simple and straightforward, biological material transport is a complex process with many actors with different perspectives and objectives. Convening a multidisciplinary discussion with stakeholders and key actors in the sample transport chain may improve the service that your laboratory provides;
  • Biohazard identification is the essential first step in biological risk analysis. Therefore, knowing which pathogens and hazards exist in your laboratory network is essential;
  • Quality Management is an essential element in providing the evidence base of the quality of the results and, therefore, assurance to the Veterinary Services for its decision making;
  • National Focal Points should be active in the OIE standard setting process and provide comments through their OIE Delegates;
  • Use the Network of OIE Reference Centres to have access to high quality expertise needed for rapid and accurate pathogen confirmation and characterisation

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Download the presentations (PDF) :

The OIE in brief
Dr Rachid Bouguedour (4.9 Mb)

OIE Standard setting process for laboratories
Dr Alessandro Ripani (3.3 Mb)

OIE Standard setting process for laboratories Update on the work of the BSC
Prof. Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann (2.7 Mb)

Laboratories in the OIE’s actions - Biological Threat Reduction and Laboratories
Dr Jennifer Lasley (1.4 Mb)

Terms of reference of the OIE National Focal Points for Veterinary Laboratories
Dr Brice Lafia (0.7 Mb)

Objectives and format of the Seminar
Dr Jennifer Lasley (1.9 Mb)

The role of the laboratory in sample collection submission and storage of diagnostic specimens
Prof. Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann (2.2 Mb)

Collection, submission and storage of diagnostic specimens
Dr Delille Wessels(1.6 Mb)

Material transfer agreements: Potential solution to common challenges
Dr Delille Wessels (0.4 Mb

Biosafety and Biosecurity: Standard for managing biorisk in veterinary laboratories and animal facilities
Prof. Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann (1.8 Mb)

Biohazard Identification: The First Step in Biological Risk Analysis
Dr Melissa Finley (1.2 Mb)

Laboratory Risk Assessment
Dr Benjamin Brodsky(1.3 Mb)

The importance of pathogen inventories: Ebola example
Dr Ahidjo Ayouba (19.2 Mb)

The Quality Assurance Cycle: a systems based approach
Dr Barbara M. Martin (2.4 Mb)

External Quality Assurance: Subregional experiences on RVF
Dr Gian Mario Cosseddu (1.8 Mb)

Outcomes of The OIE Consultation on Sustainable Laboratory Biosafety and Biosecurity
Dr Barbara M. Martin (2.5 Mb)

Challenges in laboratories
Dr Amira Nachi EP Mkaouer(2.4 Mb)

Laboratory Networking: AU-PANVAC Experience
Dr Nick Nwankpa (3.8 Mb)

The role of laboratories in the PPR Global Eradication Strategy
Dr Furaha Mramba (5.6 Mb)

Role of the laboratory in the development of the aquaculture sector
Dr Emna Ayari Fakhfakh (1.4 Mb)

EBO-SURSY : Capacity Building and Surveillance for Ebola Virus Disease
Dr Sophie Muset (3.3 Mb)

Outcomes of the OIE ad hoc Group on Veterinary Paraprofessionals (VPP)
Dr Barbara M. Martin (1.1 Mb)

Global Laboratory Leadership Programme/ A training programme for the development of laboratory leaders
Dr Jennifer Lasley (1.1 Mb)

Interpretation of the Focal Points role and working together (Senegal Case Study)
Dr Momar Talla Seck (0.4 Mb)

Final Remarks
Dr Jennifer Lasley (4.5 Mb)


All pictures © B.Lafia and S. Muset (oie) 2018, except where mentioned otherwise.

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