Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

WHO BioHub: Global Facility for Pathogen Storage


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: WHO BioHub and its purpose

Mains level: Not Much

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Switzerland have signed an MoU to launch a BioHub facility that will allow rapid sharing of pathogens between laboratories and partners to facilitate better analysis and preparedness against them.

WHO BioHub

  • The BioHub will enable member states to share biological materials with and via the BioHub under pre-agreed conditions, including biosafety, biosecurity, and other applicable regulations.
  • The facility will help in the safe reception, sequencing, storage, and preparation of biological materials for distribution to other laboratories, so as to facilitate global preparedness against these pathogens.
  • It would be based in Spiez, Switzerland.
  • Pathogens are presently shared bilaterally between countries: A process that can be sluggish and deny the benefits to some.

Its significance

  • This will ensure timeliness and predictability in response activities.
  • The move is significant in the view of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the need to underline the importance of sharing pathogen information to assess risks and launch countermeasures.
  • The move will help contribute to the establishment of an international exchange system for novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and other emerging pathogens.

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