Madagascar

We aim to improve access to healthcare for the vulnerable populations on this island in the Indian Ocean. We have been active in Madagascar since 2006, helping to provide better clinical diagnosis by supporting regional laboratories and the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease.

Overview

  • First Fondation Mérieux mission in 2006
  • Mérieux Foundation office: 4 Malagasy employees
  • Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease, recognized in 2016 as the National Reference Laboratory for Leprosy
  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory (2010) at the University of Antananarivo, member of the GABRIEL network
  • 9 clinical biology laboratories renovated since 2007

The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory’s research focus: leprosy, chromoblastomycosis & sporotrichosis, multi-resistant bacteria, bacterial meningitis and papillomavirus

Situation

Access to diagnosis

Avec RESAMAD, la Fondation Mérieux met en réseau les laboratoires du pays, ce qui permet de renforcer la qualité des soins offerts aux populations.

Alongside RESAMAD, the Mérieux Foundation sets up laboratories in the country, enabling a strengthened healthcare system to be offered to populations.

We support the development of the RESAMAD Malagasy network of public hospital laboratories. We’ve provided a computerized Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). In 2016, we set up a bacteriology unit in the Morafeno University Hospital Center laboratory in Tamatave. Jointly funded by the Mérieux Foundation and the Agence Française de Développement, technical assistance is provided in partnership with the Madagascan Health Ministry’s Laboratories Department, the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Antananarivo and the Indian Ocean Commission.

A pharmacy course, the first of its kind in the Indian Ocean, was launched in 2006 to boost the capacities of hospital pharmacies.

Prof. Luc-Hervé Samison, Director Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease of Madagascar and Dean of the School of Medicine of Antananarivo, Madagascar

We are also a partner of two grassroots activities which promote access to diagnosis:

  • Care for people in contact with tuberculosis in the region of Analamanga,
  • HIV viral load measurement at the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease for a group of 300 patients monitored at the Joseph Raseta hospital in Befelatanana.

Enhancing research capabilities

We are involved in several research programs in Madagascar:

  • Monitoring anti-leprosy antibiotic resistance,
  • A research program on the occurrence and environmental sources of tropical mycoses (chromoblastomycosis and sporotrichosis) to improve patient care,
  • Monitoring bacterial meningitis with analysis of samples using the “real-time PCR” screening technique developed by our Emerging Pathogens Laboratory and transferred to the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Madagascar in 2015,
  • Assessing the endemicity of intestinal schistosomiasis in Haute Matsiatra: the project aims to determine the prevalence of the disease in schools and to implement appropriate preventive action.

Support for mothers and children

In Madagascar, the Mérieux Foundation and Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux work with several local charities that tackle poverty, including Akamasoa (meaning “good friends”), which provides accommodation, health facilities, schooling and income-producing activities for more than 20,000 people in Antananarivo. The foundations also contribute to access to medical care via the “ Solidarity Fund for Underprivileged Children and Women ”, which has so far provided medical care for more than 700 children. A health education program was also established for the most vulnerable families, in partnership with school medical services and child protection associations.

In 2016, the Mérieux Foundation renovated a training center and accommodation for students in Antananarivo: the “Maison Bénédicte”, in memory of Doctor Bénédicte Contamin, the former head of the Mérieux Foundation in Madagascar.

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