The Defense Threat Reduction Agency has expanded the scope of its nuclear nonproliferation program to tackle biological threats worldwide, DoD News reported Thursday.
Cheryl Pellerin writes DTRA’s Cooperative Biological Engagement Program has partnered with nearly 30 countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and South Asia and Southeast Asia at present.
“Over the years the program morphed into helping those partners safeguard and secure any biological material they may have for public health purposes [and] to give them the capability to detect, diagnose and report incidents focusing on weapons of mass destruction, related biothreats and bio material,” Lance Brooks, CBEP division chief, told DoD News.
The program aims to help partner nations identify potential pandemics that may arise from biological releases, according to the report.
CBEP also assists countries in their disease reporting efforts as mandated by a 2005 revision of the International Health Regulations, Brooks told DoD News.
The program’s partners are the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other international groups that aim to help develop biothreat detection tools, Pellerin reports.