An often-neglected problem in developing countries is the lack of resources for conducting research to effectively fight infectious disease. There is also a lack of quality infrastructure and researchers who are trained in innovative laboratory techniques.
The AFRICARAMI (African and Caribbean Network of Science and Technique to support the fight against infectious disease) project, which is part of the GABRIEL international research network, aims to strengthen research capacity in Cameroon, Haiti, Madagascar, and Mali. It is part of the European Union’s Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific Science and Technology Programme.
AFRICARAMI’s mission is to fight tuberculosis and lower respiratory tract infections by strengthening local research capacities in terms of prevention, diagnostics, and improvement of treatment quality.
These capacities are strengthened by creating a network to share knowledge, strengthening researchers’ skills, and ensuring that quality research is conducted. Furthermore, this research must be relevant to the needs and capacities of each country in order to be integrated into international research networks.
The AFRICARAMI project strengthens scientific and technological capacities through four action areas:
- Developing a network to improve coordination between biomedical research laboratories that fight tuberculosis and lower respiratory tract infections;
- Creating an advisory committee to help develop research policies that correspond to local priorities;
- Creating appropriate training programs to strengthen the research capacities of network laboratories;
- Expanding the dissemination of results from this research and improving application of the results.
Launched in 2009, the AFRICARAMI project has led to the establishment of a sustainable network of research institutions:
institutions participate in the network’s activities
national meetings have taken place
international meetings have taken place
Research protocols have been developed for several studies:
- In Mali, a study on the prevalence of multi-resistant tuberculosis in the Bamako district, as well as a study on resistance to beta-lactams in acute community-acquired pneumonia among malnourished children under the age of 59 months at Gabriel Touré Hospital.
- In Cameroon, a study on the co-morbidity of tuberculosis and Type II diabetes.
- In Madagascar, an epidemio-clinical study of multi-resistant tuberculosis in six regions, a study of acute lower respiratory tract infections in urban environments in four regional capitals, as well as a study of the etiology, phylogenetics, and antibiotic resistance of acute lower respiratory tract infections.
Through AFRICARAMI, 529 scientists from the 4 project countries were trained
|Training||Number of people trained|
|Research methods in statistics and epidemiology||109|
|Quality assurance procedures||82|
|Management of research activities||93|
|New laboratory biology techniques||83|
|The use of a software program to manage samples and results||5|
|Searching for outside funding||95|
|A bioinformatics workshop||57|
|A scientific writing workshop||5|
- Biotechnology Center at the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon
- Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Bamako, Mali
- Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Antananarivo, Madagascar
- GHESKIO Centers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
- Mérieux Foundation
- Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific Science and Technology Programme
- European Commission
- Mérieux Foundation