12th edition of the Advanced Course on Diagnostics to promote the role and value of medical diagnostics

October 12, 2023 - Les Pensières Center for Global Health (France)


The 12th edition of the Advanced Course on Diagnostics (ACDx), led by Dr. Joseph Tucker from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Dr. François-Xavier Babin from the Mérieux Foundation, was held at the Les Pensières Center for Global Health in Annecy from September 17 to 22, 2023. This year, 25 participants from 17 countries attended the course. Three of them were able to benefit from a grant from the Mérieux Foundation.

Group photo of participants in a park, trees in the background and Lake Annecy behind them.

Participants in the 12th edition of the Advanced Course on Diagnostics.

The 12th edition of the Advanced Course on Diagnostics again emphasized the importance of providing access to effective, fast, and inexpensive diagnostic tools, especially in low- and middle-income countries. This is a crucial step to improve patient care, fight antimicrobial resistance, respond to epidemics, and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals to ensure healthy lives and wellbeing for everyone.

The program for this year’s course was defined in line with the World Health Assembly’s historic resolution on strengthening diagnostics capacity, which was approved in May 2023 and served as the main theme for this event. Initial discussions focused on the contents of this resolution and the need to expand diagnostics services to regions in which they are not currently available. The objective here is to improve the coordination of laboratory activities thanks to this resolution. The course also introduced two new subjects this year: one on the climate crisis and diagnostics and the other on the importance of communication in programs to provide access to diagnostics.

The Mérieux Foundation coordinated the event and played an active role in providing its expertise during the course. François-Xavier Babin, Director of International Operations, and Nicolas Steenkeste, Head of Biosafety, Biosecurity and Quality, introduced the third day with speeches defining the notion of the laboratory system. The first covered the basics of a good laboratory system and the second was about the importance of a quality management system in laboratories.

On the same day, Nicolas Steenkeste and Ann Thu Ngo, Quality Officer, led exercises on biosafety, biosecurity, quality management and accreditation according to the new ISO 15189 standard.

4 participants recording themselves with a camera (placed on a table) for a workshop in a park. Trees in the background

A group of participants during a workshop.
Credit: Enzo Chalabi

On the sixth and final day of the course, Emmanuelle Boussières, Project Manager at the Mérieux Foundation, presented the network of medical biology laboratories in West Africa, RESAOLAB, to explain the challenges faced by a regional institutional network managing the laboratory system for the ministry of health.

The participants joined the dynamic community of ACDx alumni, allowing them to continue discussions and collaborations within this network.

The next ACDx course will take place from September 15 to 20, 2024, at the Les Pensières Center for Global Health.

Advanced Course on Diagnostics 2023 Recap meeting

About ACDx

The Advanced Course on Diagnostics (ACDx) aims to promote the role and value of diagnostics in global healthcare and to reinforce capacities to make critical decisions on diagnostics in developing countries through partnerships and networks. This intensive one-week course has been designed to improve the knowledge and professional networks of the participants. The course focuses on difficulties with access to high-quality diagnostics, particularly in the fight against antimicrobial resistance and preparing for epidemics, as well as encouraging social and technological innovations.

The course is directed by Dr/ Joseph Tucker from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Dr. François-Xavier Babin from the Mérieux Foundation. The ACDx program is developed by a scientific committee made up of representatives of the following institutions: UNICEF, WHO, the University of North Carolina, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Africa CDC, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), LSHTM, the Mérieux Foundation, the Global Fund and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND).

The course is supported by grants and sponsorship from bioMérieux, CEPHEID, Illumina, FIND and DTRA (the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency).