Need of lab biosafety

As the medical science is confronting with new health problems in the modern times, they have taken along a bucket of risks for human health and environment, which, no doubt, have triggered concerns for the stakeholders about biosafety labs. Laboratory biosafety allows for safe handling of biological material and living organisms including genetically modified organisms in contained laboratory settings just in order to minimise risks to human health and the environment. Authoritative sources on laboratory biosafety including academic and research institutions and internationally recognized organizations like WHO, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NIH provide excellent guidelines for safe laboratory practices. Biosafety of laboratories is meant “containment” that involves safe methods, facilities and equipment for managing materials in the laboratory where they are handled. The different biosafety levels recommend a set of precautionary wolves like marking of hazardous signs, personnels mandatory training in handling pathogenic and potentially lethal agents, limited access to lab during work, directional airflow to prevent flow of air into other laboratories and ensuring senior scientists supervision. Guidelines for safe use of DNA, viruses, bacteria, select agents and toxins, blood and human tissue, and other biological materials require that safe practices and procedures be in place to reduce or eliminate these exposure risks. The medical research done in the past century led to improved health and increased life expectancy largely because of success in preventing and treating infectious diseases. This success has come about through the use of antibiotics and vaccines, improved hygiene, and increased public awareness. But even then health threats in shape of HIV/AIDS continue emerging naturally. To control epidemics and protect the public health, medical researchers must quickly identify naturally occurring microbes and then develop diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines for them. Preparing for bioterrorism calls for the identical scientific skills and strategies. In the case of Pakistan, the biosafety level has been observed not up to the mark due to the multiple factors especially lack of awareness about health hazarads, effective legislation, monitoring of scientists as well as international organizations and the strong commitment of the govt. NIH, which has emerged as a representative platform, also needs to adopt a monitoring role in order to ensure biosafety of laboratories.

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