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KARACHI: The University of Karachi and the Association for Biorisk Management-Pakistan signed the memorandum of understanding at the Conference Room of the KU Dr A. Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE) to launch a collaborative effort for implementing the Pakistan Biorisk Management Program (PBMP) to control zoonotic pathogens by introducing and strengthening biosafety and biosecurity practices in the biological laboratories of the University of Karachi.

The KU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi and the Executive Director of ABM-Pakistan Dr Asghar Ali inked the MoU documents during a ceremony which was attended by the Program Director and Health Security Partners Dr Javed Khan, the President of Pakistan Biological Safety Association Professor Dr Saeed Khan, KIBGE faculty, chairpersons of several departments of the University of Karachi.

As per the MoU, the KU and the ABM; a non-governmental organizations stationed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa agreed to institutionalize biorisk management practices in priority labs across the country.

The program aims to control zoonotic pathogens by introducing and strengthening biosafety and biosecurity practices in existing laboratories in AZK, KPK, Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan. Under this program, the ABM will work with laboratories within veterinary hospitals and medical facilities as well as research centers and universities that deal with pathogens and toxins.

According to the MoU, the ABM will provide regular technical support to the laboratory regarding biosafety and biosecurity, as well as furnish profiles, conduct biorisk assessment and reassess the relevant laboratories of the University of Karachi, and recommend BRM mitigation measures accordingly.

The ABM will also train the lab staff and field staff in biosafety and biosecurity and will provide complementary biosafety kits to the training participants, and strengthen the laboratory by providing critical SOPs, essential laboratory equipment, and reagents.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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