Experts meet for bio-safety talks in HCM City hinh anh 1Dr Chua Teck-Mean, President of the Asia-Pacific Biosafety Association, speaks at the 12th A-PBA Conference that opened in HCM City on August 24. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – As many as 180 international and Vietnamese bio-safety experts, professionals and practitioners are discussing bio-risk, bio-preparedness, and bio-terrorism at the 12th Asia-Pacific Biosafety Association (A-PBA) Conference that opened in Ho Chi Minh City on August 24.

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.

Vietnam 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.-VNA