Nasir Ahmed Stanikzai
Technical Consultant, Ministry of Public Health
Executive Board Member, Afghan Biorisk Association
Dr. Nasir Ahmad Stanikzai is currently a technical consultant for health system strengthening with the Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan, and a former director of its Central Public Health Laboratories. He is a medical doctor who began his career with the NGO Première Urgence – Aide Médicale Internationale in Kabul, as a National Medical lab Coordinator, and 2010 joined the Afghanistan National Public Health Institute as Study Coordinator. There he was influential in developing Afghanistan’s current lab networking system, including its biorisk management practices. Between 2014 and 2016 Dr. Stanikzai served as a consultant in several parts of Afghanistan for various organizations promoting biosafety and biosecurity in the country. He also founded the NGO Afghanistan Biosafety and Health Research Organization and became an Executive Board member of the Afghan Biorisk Association. Working regionally, he is a member of the Biosafety Association for Central Asia and the Caucasus, and in that capacity was involved in activities such as regional biosafety trainings. Dr Stanikzai also continued his studies, receiving a diploma in Epidemiology/Research methodology and completing a master’s level program in biosafety and biosecurity from Bradford University in the United Kingdom. In September 2016 Dr. Stanikzai was nominated as the Director of the Afghanistan Central Public Health Laboratories and the National Influenza Centre. On taking up the position he initiated several reforms to strengthen Afghanistan’s public health laboratory network and its biorisk management practices. He continues to work voluntarily for MoPH as national polio containment coordinator, national focal point for CBRN issues, national focal point for antimicrobial resistance, and as an International Health Regulations lab advisory committee member. In these and other activities Dr. Stanikzai has shown a consistent commitment, in often very difficult circumstances, to strengthen Afghanistan’s public health system in a wide variety of ways, including in its biorisk management practices.