Collaborative Agreement CO-80063-08 SE Asia Biocontainment Laboratory Training and Assessment
Bio2ic provided a report that was commissioned for the Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP) by the Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction, Bureau of International Security (ISN/CTR), U.S. Department of State
The assessment of the BSL-3 facility proposal of the National Institutes of Health, University of Philippines in Manila was preceded by a two day workshop on biosafety and biosecurity held in Manila
The first stage in the process of evaluating the needs of the University of the Philippines took place during a one day workshop where we sought information concerning their needs, planned work and construction issues. We were ably assisted by Robert Heckert of Robert Heckert Consulting during our 3 day assessment period in Manila. The staff of the University of the Philippines, including the Director of the National Institutes of Health, were lead by Prof Raul Destura, Head of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In the afternoon members of the University Engineering Department attended for an inspection of the old National Institutes of Health building and to discuss plans for the new National Institutes of Health building.
On the second day of the assessment, Neil Walls worked with Tony and Robert on the development of designs for the facility and assessments of construction in both the old National Institutes of Health and the proposed new Institutes of Health buildings. The information from this planning session was put together for presentation to the University of the Philippines on the third day. Also included were estimates of the costs of construction on the two different sites.
On the third day Tony and Robert returned to the University to present the outcomes of the planning and to gain input from the University team. The two options were presented and discussed in detail.
Also discussed was the possibility that the BSL-3 facilities could be seen as a national resource for the Philippines and open for use by other groups that needed that level of containment. This would be particularly true of groups handling multi-drug and extreme drug resistant tuberculosis, a major problem in the Philippines. The University intended to have discussions with the relevant ministers on this matter.