WHO training on shipping infectious substances

WHO/Tahmina Alimamedova

The WHO Country Office, Tajikistan, the State Sanitary and Epidemiology Surveillance Service (SSESS) and Dushanbe International Airport (in the framework of the activities of the Government plan on avian influenza control and preparedness for pandemic influenza, which is implemented with technical support from WHO and financing by the World Bank and European Commission) held a two-day training course on the shipment of infectious substances on 24–25 August in Dushanbe. The training in packing and transport was in accordance with the requirements and standards of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

The WHO, SSESS and Dushanbe International Airport called for stronger expertise in transporting dangerous goods to protect the health of the population and follow the latest IATA standards.

The training pointed out ways to reduce the risk of damage and accidents. Ways to manage and minimize risk in the carriage of dangerous goods along their whole route were introduced in practice sessions. Participants learned how to categorize, pack, label and document infectious substances.

A mission from WHO/Europe conducted the training with the assistance of an SSESS expert and staff of the Country Office. The participants who passed a test received a certificate of achievement valid for 24 months. The others received a certificate of participation.

In addition to providing training in the shipment of infectious substances, the objectives of the mission were:

  • to assess the current capacity of the national influenza laboratories in Tajikistan, and recommend ways to improve/maintain it;
  • to find ways to ensure the sustainability of the influenza surveillance programme.