Fondation Mérieux and Institut Pasteur signed September 12, 2014 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU serves to set forth the areas of collaboration in response to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) and other hemorrhagic fever diseases in Western Africa through three ways:
- Deployment of a new mobile laboratory, dedicated to detection and identification of infectious diseases caused by risk group 4 viruses in Western African countries. This project is submitted to the Development and Cooperation department of the European Commission (DevCO) by Fondation Merieux and Institut Pasteur via the French national agency called FEI (France Expertise Internationale) and together with INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Medicale).
The aim of the deployment of a new mobile laboratory is to strengthen the capacity of the existing EMLab project and the training of European and African staff, either at its home site (Institut Pasteur de Dakar) or at other African training sites.
The first phase will concentrate on countries currently affected by the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
- A training and capacity-building program, submitted to Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to reinforce the regional and national laboratory capacities in African countries (Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire). Institut Pasteur will be particularly in charge of the training in countries where the institutes are located (Senegal, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, Madagascar) as well as in Guinea, where scientists are already in charge of disease diagnosis at the Donka Hospital (Conakry).
Fondation Merieux will particularly be active in the countries participating in the RESAOLAB program (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo), which is supported by Agence Française de Développement. It may extend its activity to all the ECOWAS countries (Economic Community of West African States), where the Fondation will conduct laboratory professional training within the West African Regional Disease Surveillance (WARDS) project financed by the Word Bank and coordinated by the West African Health Organization.
- The evaluation of new diagnostic tests: once the Ebola virus and any other hemorrhagic fever disease are suspected, the evaluation of new diagnostic tests will be performed in close collaboration between Fondation Mérieux and Institut Pasteur.