Biosecurity-related biomedical laboratory practices in Pakistan: Educating personnel regarding transportation of biohazardous substances

Humaira Shafaq, Shahida Qureshi, Sadia Shakoor

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Background: Unchecked and unregulated transport of biohazardous material is a serious risk to the population and the environment. More importantly, packaging and knowledge of transport requirements and regulations is essential among personnel preparing and dispatching biohazardous shipments. To ensure safe transport practices among biomedical staff, regular training sessions are required but are not frequently carried out. We report on pre- and posttest knowledge among clinical laboratory and biomedical staff from southern Pakistan after such training. Methods: A basic questionnaire developed from the International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations was prepared and administered to 36 participants in two different workshops carried out in April 2016 in Karachi, Pakistan. Questionnaires were administered before (pretest) and after (posttest) the practical training exercises to test comprehension. Scores from each participant were entered in MS Excel. Normalized learning gains (NLGs) were calculated for each participant. Results: Participants demonstrated lack of baseline knowledge of transport regulations and procedures for biohazardous material. After a full-day training session comprising lectures, demonstrations, as well as hands-on application of triple packaging requirements for refrigerated, dry ice, and ambient temperature shipments, the average NLG for 36 participants was 0.7 ± 0.3. Conclusions: Our results show that baseline knowledge of biosecurity and transport guidelines among laboratory personnel in southern Pakistan is poor. Moreover, hands-on workshops can be instrumental in increasing knowledge and understanding of these guidelines among personnel and should be conducted regularly.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalDepartment of Paediatrics and Child Health
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2019

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