A ceremony was organised under the chairmanship of Pr Khalid Ait Taleb, Minister of Health for Morocco, and attended by Hélène Le Gal, French Ambassador to Morocco, Serge Mucetti, French Consul in Casablanca and Alain Mérieux, President of the Mérieux Foundation. The event provided the occasion to present the project to the various stakeholders and to sign the partnership agreement between the Institut Pasteur du Maroc and the Mérieux Foundation.
The new centre will play a lead role in the diagnosis, tracking and monitoring of TB.
It will allow the development of teaching and training in the field of mycobacteriology and will also help to reinforce supervision and quality control programmes to provide better support for structures offering the biological diagnosis of tuberculosis.
The construction of the new centre was financed by the Mérieux Foundation. It represents a major investment to boost the national programme for dealing with TB and respiratory diseases in Morocco.
“We are very proud to be setting up this laboratory,” said Alain Mérieux, President of the Mérieux Foundation. “It will be the Foundation’s 17th partner laboratory worldwide. […] The aim of these outpost laboratories is to work for the benefit of the country, as well as acting as part of a network with other laboratories, since we are dealing here with bacteria and viruses that know no boundaries between humans and animals or between different continents.”
This independent building will be located on the same site as the Institut Pasteur du Maroc. Covering a surface area of around 300m², it will include a Rodolphe Mérieux laboratory (biocontainment level P3) and a level P2 sector, with the laboratory and offices on the ground floor and technical support on the first floor.
The following activities will take place here:
- Activities for the diagnosis and biological monitoring of tuberculosis (TB)
- Research and epidemiology surveillance activities
- Control of devices and environments for the biological diagnosis of TB
- Evaluation of new techniques (diagnosis kits)
- Training and teaching in the field of mycobacteriology
- Quality control of laboratories offering the biological diagnosis of TB in humans
- Supervision and management of structures offering the biological diagnosis of TB
- Close coordination of all activities with partners, in particular the Programme National de Lutte AntiTuberculeuse (PNLAT, the national programme for dealing with TB) and the Mérieux Foundation
Casablanca records 20% of new TB cases in Morocco each year (7,980 in 2018) and more than a third of patients suffering from multi-resistant TB were detected in the city. This centre will provide the city with additional capacity in terms of diagnostics, expertise and research on TB and mycobacteria, allowing each case to be dealt with rapidly and in the most appropriate way for the epidemiological profile.
“I would also like to thank the Mérieux Foundation for its commitment and support in the establishment of this centre. Your involvement and teamwork in many countries to help the most vulnerable people and boost local facilities provide essential support for the efforts of people working in local healthcare,” said Hélène Le Gal, French Ambassador to Morocco.