RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment has been designated WHO Collaborating Centre for Laboratory Preparedness and Response for High Threat Pathogens and Biorisk by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is the first WHO Collaborating Centre that combines laboratory preparedness and biorisk. The new WHO Collaborating Centre will assist WHO in building national capacity while ensuring biosafety and biosecurity in biomedical laboratories.
Role of the WHO Collaborating Centre
The new WHO Collaborating Centre is coordinated by RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment ’s Centre for Infectious Disease Control. A key role of the Collaborating Centre is to support WHO in finalising the assessments of national capacity for laboratory diagnostics for high-threat pathogens across the WHO European Region. It will also focus on giving technical input to help countries develop national strategies for better preparedness and diagnostics for high-threat pathogens, supported by a series of workshops organised on a country-by-country basis. In addition, the centre will assist WHO in strengthening accurate, safe and secure laboratory preparedness and response systems, by developing online training sessions for basic and advanced biosafety and biosecurity.
The Collaborating Centre will host a series of coaching and technical training events, including additional workshops to support biosafety and biosecurity at a national implementation level, where needed. Information will be available on the website of the WHO Collaborating Centre.
Nine WHO Collaborating Centres
RIVM hosts nine WHO Collaborating Centres, including the new WHO Collaborating Centre. The WHO Collaborating Centres provide support ranging from practical assistance to scientific research on antimicrobial resistance, tobacco product regulation, chemical food safety, nutrition, microbial food and water safety, infectious disease preparedness, laboratory preparedness and biorisk.