Matar Saeed Al Nuaimi, Director General of ADPHC, said: “The launch of the mobile BSL-3 laboratory in the emirate will support our efforts to strengthen the capital’s preparedness to respond, contain and investigate infectious diseases and realize ADPHC’s aim to strengthen healthy and safe communities. Since 2019 Guided by our wise leadership since its inception, ADPHC has positively impacted public health standards in Abu Dhabi and forged strategic partnerships to maintain the health and safety of the community.”
Dr Farida Al Hosani, Executive Director of Infectious Diseases and Official Spokesperson for the UAE Health Sector, said: “This newly launched state-of-the-art mobile laboratory will provide rapid and free testing to identify those exposed to viral infections and pathogens. Abu Dhabi better equipped and prepared to adequately respond to any public health threat the community faces.”
Biosafety Levels (BSLs) are used to determine the protective measures required to protect workers, the environment, and the public in a laboratory environment. The protection level of the BSL-3 laboratory is second only to the BSL-4 laboratory, and the protection level of the BSL-4 laboratory is the highest.
BSL-3 laboratories are used to study infectious pathogens or toxins that may be airborne and cause potentially fatal infections through inhalation exposure. Researchers conduct all experiments in biosafety cabinets that use carefully controlled airflow or sealed enclosures to prevent infection.
The BSL-3 lab is also designed for easy decontamination. These laboratories must use controlled and directed airflow.
Other engineered safety features include the use of two self-closing or interlocking doors, sealed windows and wall surfaces, and a filtered ventilation system. BSL-3 laboratories must also have access to equipment that can decontaminate laboratory waste, including incinerators, autoclaves, or other methods depending on biological risk assessment.
According to ADPHC, its mobile lab will conduct visits at four sites in Abu Dhabi, including Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), Al Rahba Hospital, Tawam Hospital and Madinat Zayed Hospital. All laboratory technicians who will work in the laboratory and handle high-threat level pathogens have received intensive training from the manufacturer, as well as on-site safety training to operate safely in the laboratory.
Additionally, the SKMC Biosafety and Quality team will oversee the biosafety and quality aspects.
“As healthcare leaders, the responsibility to ensure public safety in the event of an infectious disease outbreak rests on our shoulders. The launch of the mobile BSL-3 laboratory by ADPHC is an important step in further strengthening the UAE’s infectious disease preparedness. We are very honored to be present at SKMC, Tawam and Al Rahba hospitals house mobile BSL-3 laboratories. We remain committed to working with the government and ADPHC to protect the community from infectious diseases,” said Saeed Jaber Al Kuwaiti, Group CEO, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) .
The mobile laboratory will be mobilized by the Abu Dhabi Reference Laboratory for Infectious Diseases (RLID-AD) (surveillance laboratory) in the event of an outbreak to enhance the screening and diagnosis capabilities of infectious diseases in the emirate.