Building on its work over the last year and a half to strengthen public health laboratory systems across Central America and the Caribbean after the Zika outbreak, TEPHINET, with funding from USAID (through the CDC), partnered with the CDC and the Association of Public Health Laboratories to develop self-guided e-learning modules on public health laboratory core competencies (specifically effective communications; quality management systems; and safety, emergency management, and response).

In April, participants from Central America and the Caribbean attended a Train-the-Trainers workshop in Atlanta, organized by TEPHINET, where they previewed these training materials and discussed strategies to deploy them to benefit all laboratory scientists in their regions. TEPHINET officially launched the modules in St. Kitts and Nevis during the 63rd Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Annual Health Research Conference held from June 14 to 16.

At the CARPHA conference, TEPHINET also had the exciting opportunity to help demonstrate a virtual reality (VR) training on laboratory safety that will be piloted later this year. This training, made available in partnership with CDC, takes the participant through different aspects of laboratory safety protocol and is intended for trainees in low- to middle-income countries who do not have laboratory resources readily available.

TEPHINET procured the cutting-edge VR equipment and course licenses and will help facilitate the use of the system moving forward, including helping to increase collaboration with regional partners in the Caribbean and Central America on adoption of the training and helping to identify target audiences for the different trainings. For more information, please contact Claire Jennings at