The SEALAB project to strengthen laboratory networks in Southeast Asia has officially launched with the first steering committee meeting held on 7 August 2020 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  

In partnership with Fondation Mérieux, IQLS and Australian non-profit organization NRL, the SEALAB project aims to strengthen national health systems in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to build capacity for responding to infectious diseases that could pose risks. SEALAB is supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The purpose of the meeting was to allow key project stakeholders to discuss strategies and ask questions related to implementing SEALAB in Cambodia. 

In attendance were representatives from the following organizations: 

  • Cambodia’s Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
  • University of Health Sciences (UHS)
  • Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC)
  • Department of International Cooperation (DIC)
  • Bureau of Medical Laboratory Services (BMLS)
  • Department of Hospital Science DHS
  • Defense Threat Reduction Agency – Biological Threat Reduction Program (DTRA-BTRP)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization Cambodia
  • WHO
  • NAMRU-2 (Naval Medical Research Unit Two)
  • Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE
  • Diagnostic Microbiology Development Program (DMDP)
  • US CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)
  • Population Service International
  • Australian Embassy in Cambodia

By the start of October, an initial assessment of human laboratory system will be conducted by IQLS consultant and senior laboratory specialist Vivian Fensham, who is on-site in Cambodia.

(photo credit: Fondation Mérieux)