In Sudan, the programme assisted in establishing a national laboratory network. The network facilitates nationwide exchange on biosecurity and helps to fight highly pathogenic agents. It also serves as the central coordination point for all biosecurity-related issues in Sudan. Furthermore, in cooperation with state health agencies, national biosecurity guidelines have been drawn up to establish international biosecurity standards. A strategy for implementing these guidelines is currently being developed. The planned simulation exercise for the emergence of highly pathogenic agents is another example of how the programme is strengthening local capacities in the health sector.
In Tunisia, the programme supported the development of an emergency plan for bioterrorist attacks and epidemics. To ensure implementation of the plan, the programme is currently working with a group of representatives from the ministries of health, environment and agriculture to develop train-the-trainer courses on the early warning and response system. The risk communication strategy for health emergencies is also expected to be officially adopted in the near future. This aims to, in particular, strengthen target group-specific communication with the population and improve mechanisms for structured communication between health authorities in order to stem the spread of disease in emergencies and prevent panic.
In Morocco, the programme has been providing support on risk and crisis communication since 2015. The national strategy for risk and crisis communication and the associated implementation guidelines were adopted in May 2018. Both are based on the fundamental premise that cross-sector cooperation in risk and crisis communication must be initiated before, rather than just during crisis situations. In this context, the programme also focuses on raising awareness of biological threats. Here, GIZ and RKI are assisting Moroccan NGO Association Marocaine de Biosécurité in organising seminars in which students and teachers from thematically relevant fields are able to discuss biological risks and counter-measures.