We provide support and training opportunities to laboratories in the Asia-Pacific region that contribute to the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS). In order to meet national needs and to play a role in GISRS, our regional partners require appropriate resources and expertise for laboratory-based detection of influenza virus and submission of samples to a WHO Collaborating Centre. Strong diagnostic and processing capabilities help regional laboratories to fulfil their key role in in global influenza surveillance and improve pandemic preparedness.
Our Centre provides technical support and training to laboratory staff, as well as advice regarding equipment and methods for laboratory-based detection of influenza virus. Our partners include WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO), WHO South-East Asian Regional Office (SEARO), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Regional Emerging Diseases Intervention (REDI), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Our support and training activities generally take one of three forms:
A specialist staff member from the Centre visits the regional laboratory to help establish and/or provide training in specific techniques for detection of influenza virus.
Held at the Centre in Melbourne or a regional venue. Laboratory scientists and managers from different countries convene for a multi-day workshop focusing on specific technical methods of influenza detection and analysis. Training is provided by specialists from the Centre and generally combines both background presentations and practical hands-on exercises. Workshop attendees have an opportunity to meet and exchange experiences with other influenza scientists from the region.
Held at the Centre in Melbourne. Staff from regional laboratories spend several days with specialists at the Centre to gain detailed understanding of specific techniques to detect influenza virus. The Centre maintains an ongoing role in advising and supporting regional laboratories as they establish and strengthen their technical capabilities.
Please contact us if you would like to know more about training opportunities with the Centre in Melbourne.
We welcome Dr Fatima El Falaki (left panel, lefthand side), from the National Institute of Hygiene, Rabat, Morocco, who is visiting the Centre 4-15 November 2019, and Dr Massab Umair Raja (left panel, righthand side), from the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, Pakistan, who is visiting 11-22 November 2019. During their time at the Centre, Fatima and Massab are undertaking training in virus isolation and serology techniques for the analysis of influenza viruses, as well as genetic analyses. Following their training at the Centre, Fatima and Massab will return to their laboratories and share their knowledge and skills with other scientists and National Influenza Centres in their respective WHO regions (AFRO and EMRO).