|Dr Chua Teck-Mean, president of the Asia-Pacific Biosafety Association, speaks at the 12th A-PBA Conference that opened in HCM City on Thursday
The four-day conference aims at generating discussions on the various current bio-safety and bio-security issues of concern at the global, regional, national and technical levels.
The discussions range from bio-terrorism, bio-risk management, challenges from bio-threat in a rapid changing world of science and technology, and laboratory bio-risk in the Asia-Pacific region.
“With the increasing threat of bio-terrorism around the world, concerns have been raised about how well we are managing and safeguarding infectious agents in our facilities,” Dr Chua Teck-Mean, president of the A-PBA, said.
“The progress of science and technology in the last decade has also posed new challenges in bio-safety and bio-security.”
It is with these concerns that A-PBA has chosen the theme of this year’s conference to be “Biosecurity & Biosafety - New Challenges of Bio Threat in a Rapidly Changing World of Science & Technology,” he said.
Prof Dang Duc Anh, director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, a co-organiser of the conference, said researching and testing dangerous infectious pathogens plays an important role in controlling communicable diseases and helps prevent, detect and respond to dangerous diseases.
“Ensuring bio-safety and bio-security in laboratories working with infectious pathogens is essential to protect laboratory workers and the community.
“Today with the changes in science and technology, bio-safety and bio-security are becoming more and more concerned.”
The World Health Organisation and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have issued detailed guidelines for bio-safety and bio-security, and based on these guidelines, countries have developed their own regulations and guidelines, he said.
Viet Nam is a leading country in Southeast Asia in developing a legal framework for bio-safety and bio-security, he said.
Thanks to that, its laboratories are safe, he added.
A-PBA, begun in 2005, represents more than 800 practising bio-safety professionals from more than 42 countries. VNS