Activities and Missions
Expert Pool and Laboratory Units for Deployment:
The EMLab Consortium has established an expert pool of scientists and laboratory technicians, that are trained in the set up and use of the EMLab field deployable laboratory units. Personnel in this pool come from several different diagnostic, public health and research institutions in Germany, Europe and Africa, that all deal with infectious diseases or tropical medicine. Three field deployable laboratory units are kept ready for deployment at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) in Hamburg, Germany.
Training of Staff for the Expert Pool:
Scientists and laboratory technicians, that have a professional training related to infectious diseases diagnostics and research, as well as physicians and pharmacologists are suitable to receive the EMLab training as a professional addon training. The original EMLab training concept was established by the partners of the Bundeswehr Institute for Microbiology (InstMikroBioBW) in Munich, Germany, and is now also provided at the BNITM.
Deployment to Infectious Disease Outbreaks and Epidemics - Diagnostic Outbreak Response:
The EMLab Consortium is a WHO-GOARN as well as WHO-EDPLN partner and is registered in the European Medical Corps as part of the "Voluntary Pool" of the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Mechanism coordinated by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) of the European Commission`s Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO).
In case of an infectious disease outbreak and if in country diagnostic capacity is overwhelmed, mobile labs can be requested by countries in need through the WHO and / or the ERCC, where the request is forwarded to partners and / or participating states. Once the EMLab Consortium is requested to send a laboratory unit to and set up diagnostics at the site of an infectious disease outbreak, the staff from the pool is contacted for mobilisation and all necessary arrangements are innitiated so that the teams can travel and the lab unit can be transported to the site of operation.
In order to sustain diagnostic laboratory service by the EMLab units, support on site is needed in the form of accommordation, electricity, food and water. Reagent supply cold chain and laboratory consumables supply chain are arranged for by EMLab Home Base at the BNITM in Hamburg, Germany. In the field, EMLab units can team up with other partners like MSF and provide diagnostics at infectious disease treatment hospitals.
Deployment of Laboratory Units to Field Exercises:
EMLab units and teams also deploy to field exercises on an EU level, where collaboration and interoperability are practiced. These exercises simulate disasters, that may be compounded by infectious disease epidemics. Other participants at these field exercises are Emergency Medical Teams (EMT), Medical Posts, EU Civil Protection Teams (EUCPT) and Technical Assistance and Support Teams (TAST).