Publications by authors named "Imane Belkourati"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

South-to-south mentoring as a vehicle for implementing sustainable health security in Africa.

One Health Outlook 2021 Oct 6;3(1):20. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA), Ottawa, Canada.

Background: While sustainability has become a universal precept in the development of global health security systems, supporting policies often lack mechanisms to drive policies into regular practice. 'On-paper' norms and regulations are to a great extent upheld by frontline workers who often lack the opportunity to communicate their first-hand experiences to decisionmakers; their role is an often overlooked, yet crucial, aspect of a sustainable global health security landscape. Initiatives and programs developing transdisciplinary professional skills support the increased bidirectional dialogue between these frontline workers and key policy- and decisionmakers which may sustainably narrow the gap between global health security policy design and implementation.

Methods: The International Federation of Biosafety Associations' (IFBA) Global Mentorship Program recruits biosafety and biosecurity champions across Africa to provide local peer mentorship to developing professionals in their geographic region. Mentors and mentees complete structured one year program cycles, where they are provided with written overviews of monthly discussion topics, and attend optional virtual interactive activities. Feedback from African participants of the 2019-2020 program cycle was collected using a virtual Exit Survey, where aspects of program impact and structure were assessed.

Results: Following its initial call for applications, the IFBA Global Mentorship Program received considerable interest from professionals across the African continent, particularly in East and North Africa. The pilot program cycle matched a total of 62 individuals from an array of professional disciplines across several regions, 40 of which were located on the African continent. The resulting mentorship pairs shared knowledge, skills, and experiences towards translating policy objectives to action on the front lines. Mentorship pairs embraced multidisciplinary approaches to harmonize health security strategies across the human and animal health sectors. South-to-South mentorship therefore provided mentees with locally relevant support critical to translation of best technical practices to local capacity and work.

Conclusion: The IFBA's South-to-South Global Mentorship Program has demonstrated its ability to form crucial links between frontline biosafety professionals, laboratory workers, and policy- and decision-makers across several implicated sectors. By supporting regionally relevant peer mentorship programs, the gap between health security policy development and implementation may be narrowed.
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October 2021

Comparative innocuity and efficacy of live and inactivated sheeppox vaccines.

BMC Vet Res 2016 Jun 29;12(1):133. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

Research and Development Virology, Multi-Chemical Industry, Lot. 157, Z I, Sud-Ouest (ERAC) B.P.: 278, Mohammedia, 28810, Morocco.

Background: Sheeppox (SPP) is one of the priorities, high-impact animal diseases in many developing countries, where live attenuated vaccines are routinely used against sheeppox virus (SPPV). In an event of an SPP outbreak, historically disease-free countries would hesitate to use of live vaccines against SPPVdue to the safety and trade reasons. Currently no killed SPPV vaccines are commercially available. In this study, we developed an inactivated Romanian SPPVvaccine and assessed its efficacy and potency in comparison with a live attenuated Romanian SPPV vaccine. Four naïve sheep were vaccinated once with the Romanian SPPV live attenuated vaccine and16 sheep were vaccinated twice with the inactivated vaccine. All sheep in the live vaccine group were included in the challenge trial, which was conducted using a highly virulent Moroccan SPPV field strain. Eight sheep of the inactivated vaccine group were challenged and the remaining sheep were monitored for seroconversion. Experimental animals were closely monitored for the appearance of clinical signs, body temperature and inflammation at the injection site. Two naïve sheep were used as unvaccinated controls.

Results: The inactivated Romanian SPPV vaccine was found to be safe and confer a good protection, similar to the live vaccine. Specific antibodies appeared from seven days post vaccination and remained up to nine months.

Conclusion: This study showed that the developed inactivated Romanian SPPV vaccine has a potential to replace attenuated vaccine to control and prevent sheep pox in disease-free or endemic countries.
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June 2016