In March 2010, Mr Alain Mérieux, president of Fondation Mérieux, visited Monaco to discuss with HSH Sovereign Prince Albert II the possibility of a partnership in the health sector.
It concluded with the signing of a three year agreement designed for Mali and Madagascar, priority countries in the Monegasque cooperation.
The general aim of the project is to improve the quality of healthcare offered to the rural population of the two countries by providing them better access to laboratory diagnosis. In fact, the quality of laboratory diagnosis is crucial in correctly identifying and treating a disease. In Madagascar, for example, diarrhea is the second largest cause of infant mortality. Due to a lack of diagnosis, it can be confused with malaria (digestive disorders), and the treatment given by doctors is therefore unsuitable.
The project led by this country aims to detect the principal agents of febrile diarrhea (bacteria, virus and parasites) in around 2000 children aged 5. The results obtained will allow for better support and suggestions for treatment for the affected children (around 15,000).
In Mali, a pilot project being carried out by the Charles Mérieux Centre in Bamako and the NGO Santé Sud will aim to support community health centres, the first level of the healthcare pyramid, and to integrate them into the national network of laboratories responsible for the continuous training, quality control and epidemiological training. 9 new laboratories will be built to meet the needs of catering for a population of 100,000 people.
Monaco's government will cover 100% of the cost of these two projects, a total sum of 314,700 euros spread over 3 years.