It was inaugurated on 28th March by Lene Sebgo, Minister of Health, and the project’s partners, the Mérieux Fondation, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the national laboratory networks and administrations of the countries participating in RESAOLAB, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. Representatives from the health ministries of Benin, Guinea, Niger and Togo were also present.
The new centre will organise continuous training of laboratory professionals to strengthen laboratory capacity for patient care and epidemiological surveillance. Its facilities include a classroom for 30 people, a microscopy room and a computer room for distance learning. The External Quality Control Unit will monitor the quality of laboratory analyses and enable laboratory personnel training to be adjusted to improve the quality of testing.
RESAOLAB aims to improve the health of populations by supporting the clinical laboratory sector and developing a network of laboratories among the participating countries. It focuses on three essential activities:
- continuous training of laboratory personnel
- quality management of testing
- and epidemiological surveillance.
These three areas are approached in a unified manner in the three member countries to leverage their experiences and begin a process of harmonizing practices at the regional level.
The project was launched in 2009, at the request of the health ministries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. Today, 45 laboratories in these three countries belong to the RESAOLAB network. It is co-financed by the Agence Française de Développement and Fondation Mérieux to contribute to the fight against infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Fondation Mérieux coordinates the implementation of RESAOLAB and works closely with the ministries of health of the three countries. The Agence Française de Développement, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Cooperation of Monaco, the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa and the West African Health Organisation (OOAS) collaborate on this project.