Created through a partnership between the Mérieux Foundation and the Mali Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene, the first Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease celebrates its tenth anniversary today.
A ceremony that was chaired by His Excellency Ousmane Koné, Minister of Health and Public Hygiene of Mali, brought together all public and private stakeholders involved in health in Mali, in the presence of the Chairman of Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease, Professor Ogobara Doumbo and the Director of the Center, Professor Souleymane Diallo and his team. Mérieux Foundation officials, including its Chairman, Alain Mérieux, the Ambassadors of France, Germany and the United States, the Consul of Monaco, scientific partners from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and Representatives of the French Development Agency, GIZ and the Department of International Cooperation of the Principality of Monaco attended the anniversary ceremony.
Since it was created in 2005, the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease has played a major role in medical biology in Mali as a center of excellence and a driving force for development of the discipline. A team of 31 people working at Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease is organized into two main structures: the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory, with an area of 440 m2 for research and medical analysis, and a training center for health practitioners working in biomedical analysis laboratories. Each year, the laboratory welcomes over 20,000 patients and the training center close to 30 students from the sub-region for the bachelor’s degree in Medical Biology (BAMS). Hundreds of laboratory technicians are also welcomed for continuing education and training by means of mentoring.
To mark its 10 years of activity, two Open Days were held on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 September, 2015 to learn about the center’s activities and facilities, and high-level scientific conferences were given around key public health topics in Mali with Dr Satigui Sidibé (LCV Mali) and Professor Bourema Kouriba, Scientific Director of the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease as speakers.
The new P3 biosafety laboratory, funded by Mérieux Foundation was inaugurated. It enjoys a high level of biosafety and is dedicated to the diagnosis of epidemic-prone diseases and dangerous pathogens such as multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, in line with the national program. The P3 laboratory is emblematic of the new cutting-edge infrastructure acquired by the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease that will make it possible to significantly enhance the quality of diagnosis and research in Mali.
On the occasion of this 10th anniversary, Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease will sign a collaboration agreement with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) and Mérieux Foundation to improve the prevention and control of infectious diseases in West Africa. This collaboration marks a new era of scientific cooperation and international exchange for the Center.
About Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Mali
The Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Mali is a non-profit institution created in 2005 through an agreement signed between the Mali Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene and Mérieux Foundation. It is administered jointly by the Department of Health, Mérieux Foundation and qualified individuals.
Located within the Center, the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory is a laboratory of excellence in clinical biology. It makes available to people all biology examinations through its high-level technical platform and qualified personnel. The Center also conducts research activities mainly in the areas of infectious diseases that have significant impact on public health in Mali (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and viral hepatitis among others).
The Laboratory is a mainstay of training for health workers in Mali, through training courses such as the BAMS (Bachelor of Applied Medical Biology) and oversees pharmacy theses and internships for students from health schools in Bamako and other countries.
CMCI contributes to the influence of Mali as a partner of several national and international networks and projects including:
- RESAOLAB (West African Network of Biomedical Analysis Laboratories);
- GABRIEL network (Global Approach to Biological Research, Infectious Diseases and Epidemics in Low-income countries);
- Bioforce Development Institute;
- LABOMEDCAMP project