The Mérieux Foundation, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), the African Society of Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) released a MOOC – Massive Open Online Classroom – in French and English, on Diagnostics and Testing for COVID-19.
In the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, diagnostics has emerged as an indispensable tool for health systems. To that extent, this three-week online course has been developed to strengthen the knowledge and skills of health professionals in the diagnostics and testing of COVID-19. The course focuses on the role of diagnostics in the global response to the pandemic, the latest recommendations on diagnostics and testing strategies, how countries are establishing and scaling up COVID-19 testing, and key considerations for safety, quality and impact of diagnostic services.
The course is designed for professionals involved in the testing and diagnostics of COVID-19, such as Ministry of Health officials, laboratory managers and technicians, and clinicians. On the course learners will be able to engage with high number of experts and educator representing each organization. For example, experts from the RESAOLAB Project, the West African Network of Biomedical Analysis Laboratories, led by the Mérieux Foundation with the support of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) through the Initiative “COVID-19 – Health in Common”, are participating in the course.
Dr. François-Xavier Babin, Diagnostics and Health Systems Director at the Mérieux Foundation and the MOOC Lead Instructor said: “Thanks to the Mérieux Foundation and RESAOLAB’s mobilization, we have worked to offer you this MOOC in French. You will find the interventions and experience-sharing of our colleagues from Burkina Faso and Mali. I hope that the result of this collaborative work will be useful and will help you in your heavy task of diagnostics and testing of COVID 19.”
The MOOC is hosted on the learning platform FutureLearn which makes it possible for learners to participate and complete the course at their own learning pace. The MOOC is now open in French and English, it is still possible to register and catch up the modules.
RESAOLAB, is an innovative network initiated by the Mérieux Foundation in 2009 which aims at increasing the access of vulnerable populations to quality diagnostics in seven West African countries. Originally launched in collaboration with the Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal Ministries of Health, four new countries then joined the network in 2013: Benin, Guinea, Niger and Togo. The project’s third phase started in 2019, with the support of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).