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Contact General Specializations in Countries Contribution to the Global Plan Declaration

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Organization Contact Information

Name: International Federation of Biosafety Associations
Street 1: 170 Laurier Ave West
Street 2:
City: Ottawa
Province: Ontario
Post Code: K1P5V5
Country: Canada
Phone: 1-613-404-1356
Organization Email:
Web Site:
Other Online Presence:

Focal Point Contact Information

Salutation: Ms
First Name: Maureen
Last Name: Ellis
Title: Executive Director
Phone: 1-613-404-1356

Alternate Focal Point Contact Information

Salutation: Mr
First Name: Brady
Last Name: Allin
Title: Director, Operations
Phone: 1-613-404-1356

General Information

Board Constituency: Developed Country NGO
Is your organization legally registered in your country: Yes
If yes, please enter your registration number:
Organization Type - Primary: Non-Governmental Organization
Organization Type - Secondary: Other Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
Organization Description:
The International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) is an international NGO with over 60 regional and national member & observer biosafety associations worldwide. Our mission is strengthening laboratory biosafety worldwide with a particular focus on promoting local practical sustainable biosafety solutions for TB laboratories (and other infectious disease laboratories) in resource limited countries. Our Biocontainment Engineering Working Group is currently researching cost-effective innovative biosafety solutions for TB laboratories and equipment (e.g. Biosafety cabinets) and includes key experts who assisted the Stop TB Partnership in the development of a new Ventilated Workstation for AFB Smear Preparation. We would like to develop more collaborative partnerships with key TB organizations and experts to further advance these research projects, to enhance TB biosafety knowledge, and to advocate for local practical and sustainability biosafety practices and facilities for facilities & laboratories handling TB.

Please note that while we work closely with the WHO Biosafety Program and CDC Biosafety Program, we would like to strengthen IFBA's collaboration directly with Stop TB Partnership in order to better deliver TB biosafety programs in response to emerging needs.
Do you know about the UNHLM declaration:

Specializations / Areas of Work

Research and Development
Technical Assistance

Other Organization Information

Total number of staff in your organization: 1 - 5
Number of full-time staff who are directly involved with TB: 1 - 5
Number of part-time staff who are directly involved with TB: 1 - 5
Number of volunteers who are directly involved with TB: 100 +
How did you hear about the Stop TB Partnership: Involvement in TB control provision
If you were informed or referred by another partner of the Stop TB Partnership please tell us who:
Why do you wish join the Stop TB Partnership: Involvement in Stop TB Working Groups
Are you a member of a Stop TB national partnership: No
Are you in contact with your national TB programme: No
Please tell us how your organization is contributing to your country's national TB control plan:
Our organization is an international NGO with a secretariat based in Canada. Our member national biosafety associations do include those from the Ministries of Health who are in contact with their respective national TB control programmes and who implement national biosafety programs. Through our involvement in the Stop TB Partnership, we would like to further the partnerships between our national member associations and their national TB programmes to foster collaborative efforts in TB biosafety.

Geographical Reach

Which country is your headquarters located in: Canada
Which countries do you do operate in:
(This includes countries you are conducting activities in)
Brunei Darussalam
Cote d'Ivoire
New Zealand
Republic of Korea
Russian Federation
South Africa
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United Republic of Tanzania
United States of America
Viet Nam


Please tell us how your organization will contribute to the Global Plan to Stop TB by briefly describing its involvement in any of the areas of work listed below:

TB Care Delivery:
Implementation of TB diagnostics requires adequate biosafety measures and biocontainment facilities. Specifically, the IFBA is working in the following laboratory strengthening areas of the Global Plan: 1)Laboratory infrastructure, appropriate biosafety measures and maintenance (e.g. development of a prototype design for natural ventilation approaches for TB laboratories), 2)Equipment validation and maintenance (e.g. developing a new user test to ensure biosafety cabinets are working properly); 3) Specimen transport
The IFBA and our member biosafety associations around the world have also developed advocacy and outreach materials targeting senior policy officials and others which communicate the critical need for enhanced biosafety practices and facilities in support of quality TB diagnostics (e.g the IFBA is developing a Memorandum of Understanding with the African Society for Laboratory Medicine which includes the development of joint biosafety advocacy materials)

Drug-Resistant TB:
Handling drug resistant TB strains and drug sensitivity testing requires adequate biosafety practices and biocontainment equipment. A key focus of our activities in this areas is to promote biosafety solutions that are cost-effective, locally practical and sustainable in resource limited countries (instead of trying to implement "western" approaches to biocontainment facilities that are not suitable in all countries). Our Biocontainment Engineering Working Group is currently researching cost-effective innovative biosafety solutions for TB laboratories and equipment (e.g. Biosafety cabinets) and includes key experts who are currently assisting the Stop TB Partnership in the development of a new approaches to biosafety equipment and biocontainment facilities specific for TB laboratories (e.g. developed a prototype TB laboratory in Haiti using locally practical biosafety and biocontainment solutions).

The IFBA's work is not limited to TB but also includes strengthening biosafety practices and facilities for other infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS. The IFBA is collaborating with the International AIDS Society and other key players in this regard.

Laboratory Strengthening:
The main focus of IFBA's work in this area is with respect to Objective 5 "Coordinate global efforts to strengthen laboratory capacity to diagnose all forms of TB" - infrastructure, biosafety, and human resource development. The IFBA's Biocontainment Engineering Working Group has worked closely with the Stop TB Partnership to develop new biosafety approaches including the development of a new ventilated workstation for AFB Microscopy that is cost-effective and locally sustainable. The IFBA continues to develop new affordable approaches for safe TB laboratories (e.g. natural ventilation approaches, simple tests to confirm that biosafety cabinets are working properly, sustainable risk-based biosafety solutions for TB laboratories. In addition, the IFBA works with its member associations to conduct biosafety training workshops and advocacy projects to build much needed biosafety knowledge amongst the laboratory communities working with TB around the world. In addition to laboratory technicians, the IFBA is provides much needed training and capacity building for laboratory maintenance technicians and engineers. The IFBA is also working with the laboratory communities to develop a new certification program for biosafety professionals in TB laboratories to ensure competency in a number of biosafety technical areas associated with the safe handling of TB samples and cultures. Finally, the IFBA is working with key organizations (e.g African Society for Laboratory Medicine) to ensure that biosafety is included within quality assurance programs (e.g. SLIPTA)

New Diagnostics:
As new diagnostics are developed, it is important to ensure that adequate attention is given to the biosafety requirements for such new technologies. The IFBA and our technical experts evaluate new technologies and provide recommendations for appropriate biosafety practices needed to safely use these technologies.

IFBA's research into risk-based, cost effective solutions for TB laboratories (e.g natural ventilation approaches) helps to define cost-effective solutions for TB laboratories that can be effectively implemented and sustained particularly in low resource countries. Our research is carried out using local expertise and by testing solutions locally in many countries around the world (e.g. Haiti, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic)


Declaration of interests:
No conflicts of interest were delacred.

Application date: October 3, 2013
Last updated: November 14, 2013