The agreement, signed December 18th by Yves Boudot, Director Africa at AFD, and Benoît Miribel, Director General of the Mérieux Foundation, covers their collaboration on the RESAOLAB program, an inter-country West African laboratory network bringing together Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
Under the agreement, Agence Française de Développement will provide 5 million euros of funding to the program for the period 2014-2017. The agency’s financial support will contribute to reinforce the quality of the clinical biology laboratory system in participating countries to improve, in particular, maternal and child health.
RESAOLAB addresses six key areas that affect the performance of laboratory systems:
- quality management,
- basic education and continuing training of laboratory personnel,
- laboratory information systems,
- equipment purchasing and maintenance,
- laboratory funding,
- regional and national governance and networks.
The program was launched in 2009 by the Mérieux Fondation in collaboration with the ministers of health of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal. The ministries of health of Benin, Guinea, Niger and Togo have joined the program for a new phase, which was launched in 2013.
Agence Française de Développement and the Mérieux Foundation co-financed the first phase of RESAOLAB. For the second phase of the program, they will be joined by the International Cooperation of Monaco, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Islamic Development Bank, which also plan to support the program. The total budget is estimated at 8 million euros. The World Health Organization, the West African Health Organisation (OOAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) collaborate on the program.