Mali

Throughout security issues, political instability and social crisis, we have never ceased our actions in this country in the heart of the Sahel. Through the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease, we increase access to medical care for all by offering high-quality clinical diagnosis.

Overview

  • First Mérieux Foundation mission in 2003
  • Mérieux Foundation office: 1 expatriate and 5 Malian employees
  • Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease and Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory (2005) in Bamako, member of the GABRIEL network
  • RESAOLAB network member since 2009

The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory’s research focus: tuberculosis, hepatitis b, respiratory infections

Situation

RESAOLAB program actions

Mali is one of the 7 members of the RESAOLAB network of West African laboratories created by the Mérieux Foundation and the ministries of health of participating countries. As part of this network, it participates annually in training, laboratory supervision, quality assurance and external quality assessment.

In 2010, we conducted several renovation projects for training infrastructures: regional hospital laboratories in Mopti and Kayes, the National Training Institute in Health Sciences in Sikasso and Kayes, the National External Quality Assessment Unit at the National Institute of Public Health Research. In Kayes, this was carried out with the support of the Department of International Cooperation of the Principality of Monaco.

Access to diagnosis

In 2015, thanks to funding from Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux, the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Bamako was equipped with a BSL3 laboratory for the diagnosis of and research on tuberculosis and dangerous viruses.

As part of a Franco-German collaboration in the fight against Ebola, a mobile laboratory for the diagnosis of infectious agents was inaugurated at the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in 2015. It strengthens the capacities of the Malian healthcare system to respond to the spread of highly infectious diseases and is intended to be transported to remote regions in the event of a suspected epidemic. In 2016, as part of the creation of the G5 Sahel Biosecurity Network (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad), experts from the countries involved were included in training on the mobile laboratory.

We have participated in several collaborative initiatives aimed at improving access to diagnosis for the greatest number of people:

  • The DJOMI project, launched in 2015 as part of the GHSA (Global Health Security Agenda),
  • LABOMEDCAMP, which aims to improve the quality of infectious disease diagnosis at front-line health centers,
  • The SOCIALAB study, an academic research project piloted by the AIGHD (Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development) in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal, which aims to identify the social, cultural, historical and political barriers which affect medical biology services and to measure their impact on the quality of prenatal care in sub-Saharan Africa.

Enhancing research capabilities

The Mérieux Foundation is involved in several research programs in Mali:

  • Monitoring the etiology of acute or persistent febrile syndromes with the aim of improving diagnosis, prevention and treatment.
  • Evaluating the hepatitis B viral load in blood donors in Bamako,
  • Studying the dynamics and the composition of intestinal microbiota in children in a pediatric setting in Mali, as part of a multi-center study conducted by the GABRIEL network,
  • A research cooperation agreement signed in 2015 by the Mérieux Foundation, the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Mali and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

Knowledge-sharing

+200

West African lab technicians have been trained

since 2007 thanks to BAMS Mali

To strengthen the theoretical and practical skills of West African laboratory technicians, we created the BAMS course (Bachelor in Applied Medical Biology), in2007, in partnership with the School of Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology (ESTBB) of the Catholic University of Lyon. Every year, several scholarships are awarded to Malian students. Since the beginning of the 2017 academic year, BAMS has officially become a Master’s program at the University of Bamako.

The Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease is a partner of the African Bioforce Institute and hosts the WASH integrated training program (water/hygiene/nutrition). Jointly funded by UNICEF and the Mérieux Foundation, through a partnership with Action Against Hunger, these courses are aimed at health and sanitation professionals with a view to promoting sustainable access to quality services.

Support for mothers and children

In Mali, we support the NGO Djantoli, which works to improve young children’s health, particularly by developing health monitoring and care for mothers and children. In 2015, we joined forces with the La Main à la Pâte Foundation, to launch a science and health education pilot program in primary schools in Mali. This project to raise awareness among students consists of support for teachers and the introduction of investigative teaching methods.

In Mali, Senegal and Peru, we support the work of Samusocial International, in the fight against social exclusion and the marginalization of young people in big cities in developing countries. The Foundation contributes to providing mobile assistance, day support facilities (healthcare and psychosocial support activities), and emergency accommodation for children living on the streets.

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