Africa is home to a plethora of high consequence pathogens including viral hemorraghic fevers, communicable tropical diseases, and various bacterial zoonoses. Laboratory staff faces the challenges of diagnosis of a myriad of contagion and are inevitably exposed to these pathogens. Lack of sustainable funding and insufficient infrastructure are two major contributory factors for questionable lab practices.
Laboratory biosafety should be an integral component of laboratory functioning essential for high quality laboratory services. Mounting biosecurity concerns place an absolute obligation on laboratories to responsibly manage biological assets. These issues are recognized through the implementation of the International Health Regulations which have become mandate to governments in Africa, and globally.
The cliché “knowledge is power” comes to mind, and those with the power of this knowledge have the capability to use what is known for the greater good or for malevolent purposes against society. It is for this reason that scientists need to be aware of their power, and the possible harm that could come to society if the power gets into the hands of those who wish to carry out nefarious purposes. In the words of a superhero; “With great power, comes great responsibility…”
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