’Mekong Santé’ congress: Training in health, the key to development

March 15, 2010 - Vientiane (Laos)


The first edition of the 'Mékong Santé' Congress took place in Vientiane (Laos) from 25–28 January 2010 under the high patronage of the Laos Ministry of Health, the University of Health Sciences of Laos and the French Embassy in Laos. Originally organized in Cambodia under the name 'Cambodge Santé' Congress thanks to a partnership between France and Cambodia, the themes are now extended to all countries of Southeast Asia.

The ‘Mékong Santé’ Congress was, throughout these 4 days, a forum providing continuous medical education for practitioners, teachers and students. Its objective was not only the update of knowledge and practices regarding local current health issues in the area but also to share of experiences. The goal of these meetings was to face the medical challenges of Southeast Asia thanks to the exchanges and the interaction of research-medicine-sciences.

The ‘Mékong Santé’ Congress has gathered together many Fondation Mérieux partners involved in the different sessions; Fondation Pierre Fabre and MORU (Mahidol Oxford Research Unit funded by Wellcome trust). Also present were many experts from institutions such as WHO, the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, IFMT, Coopération Française, IRD, ESTHER were also present. Professor Patrice Debré, key opinion leader of the fight against HIV and transmitted diseases, was among the personalities of the Congress. There were more than 2000 participants coming from France, Southeast Asia and many other countries.

The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories of Cambodia and Laos were able to present their work during an oral session. The following presentations were given:

  • The pharmacokinetic variability and the genetic polymorphism of the P-450 cytochromes in a population of Cambodia infected by the HIV and treated by the névirapine or the efavirenz
    Doctor Monidarin Chou (Director of the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Cambodia)
  • The setting up of a plasmatic HIV-1 viral load in the Centre Christophe Mérieux of Laos
    Doctor Phimpha Paboriboune (Director of the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Laos)
  • The risk factors of appearance of anemia among patients infected by HIV or co-infected by HIV / HCV
    Doctor Visal Pech Chamnann (Molecular Biology Manager at the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Cambodia)
  • The new diagnostic tools for detection of resistances to the drugs among patients co infected by HIV and tuberculosis
    Doctor Chaysavanh Thamavong (IFMT student who was working in the Christophe Mérieux Centre of Laos)

The ’Mekong Santé’ congress