The objectives of the WHO project are to:
- establish a global network of anthrax experts and diagnostic laboratories with defined anthrax capabilities;
- establish standard procedures relating to anthrax and disseminate information;
- set up as well as implement training and quality assurance.
A network of experts and laboratories
An informal group of scientists has already been established and is being expanded to a create a network of anthrax experts and involve them in diagnosis, surveillance, and responding to outbreaks, and to provide guidance on WHO’s activities on anthrax.
A questionnaire for laboratories has been developed, in collaboration with members of the Working Group, to compile a profile of the anthrax capabilities of reference veterinary and public health laboratories worldwide.
Establishing standards and disseminating information
The second priority is to establish standards on anthrax, which will entail the updating of the existing guidelines and the development of health information material for health care professionals and the public.
Training and quality assurance programmes for laboratories are to be set up and implemented. The training materials would include a training module on anthrax diagnosis and epidemiology.
Improving public health preparedness for and response to the threat of epidemics: anthrax network
A meeting on Improving public health preparedness for and response to the threat of epidemics: anthrax network was held in Nice, France, from 29 to 30 March 2003.
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