By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) Dr. Rufus Ebegba has said that there is need for collaboration among stakeholders in areas of biosecurity to protect human health and the environment.
A press statement from NBMA signed by Gloria Ogbaki, Head Press Unit said Dr. Ebegba made the call at a stakeholders’ consultative meeting in Abuja.
The statement said the DG identified Biosecurity as a critical part of government’s efforts to prevent, respond and reduce risks of intentional release or misuse of biological materials that threaten the economy and environment.
“The Agency is currently developing a holistic Biosecurity guideline which includes a guide of practitioners working in laboratories where human pathogens or toxins are handled or stored, such as public health laboratories, teaching and research laboratories, diagnostic laboratories in hospitals, and vaccine production plants, with the intent to regulate and standardize procedures for biosafety and biosecurity”.
“NBMA, along with our sister Agencies, will ensure that all Laboratory facilities have the statutory requirements/permit in accordance with these regulations, ensure that these requirements are followed, and all reasonable precautions must be taken to protect the health and safety of the public against the risks associated with the materials in their possession”.
The statement added that the meeting was attended by representatives of Federal Ministry of Agriculture, ministry of health, Nigerian Customs service, Nigerian Immigration service, Ministry of Defence, Nigerian Airforce, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police force, INTERPOL, Medical Laboratory Science of Nigeria, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Nigerian Agriculture Quarantine Service and Centre for strategic Defence and Survey.