AfroLabNet 2.0

Rapid Laboratory Response to Outbreaks of viral Haemorrhagic Fevers and other Emerging viral Diseases in sub-Saharan Africa

One laboratory team member is getting prepared to collect a blood sample from one study participant. Forest Guinea, Guinea © BNITM


Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 in 2021, Ebola virus disease in 2014 and human Mpox in 2023, pose a great threat to the global community not only from a public health perspective, but also from an economic and social standpoint. Furthermore, the changing climate and the destruction of ecosystems lead to increasing contact between humans, wildlife and other vectors, creating a higher risk of new disease outbreaks. It is therefore vital that countries are able to properly prepare for and respond to disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies. In West Africa, where many pandemic-prone pathogens are endemic, the infrastructure and capacities required to effectively prevent, treat and respond to outbreaks are still limited. Ensuring the availability of continuous funding, well-equipped laboratories and a sufficient number of trained staff is particularly challenging. The project therefore aims to expand fixed and mobile laboratory preparedness and response capacities for viral haemorrhagic fevers and other emerging viral diseases. Project staff work closely with in-country laboratories and train local staff so that they can perform high-quality diagnostics independently and safely. This will improve overall diagnostic and surveillance capacities and ultimately contribute to reducing the morbidity and mortality of such diseases in West Africa.


Maintaining and expanding stationary and mobile laboratory infrastructure and capacity for detecting viral haemorrhagic fevers and other emerging viral diseases in sub-Saharan Africa to improve preparedness and response.

In Cooperation with

  • Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Nigeria
  • Laboratoire des Fièvres Hémorragiques Virales de Guinée (LFHVG), Guinea
  • Laboratoire des Fièvres Hémorragiques Virales de Cotonou (LFHV Cotonou), Benin
  • Njala University (NU), Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Community Health Sciences, Sierra Leone
  • Ministries of health of partner countries (see above)
  • World Health Organization (WHO), Switzerland
  • WHO Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO), Republic of the Congo
  • Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN)
  • European Civil Protection Pool (ECPP)
  • Centre d’Information de Prospectives et de Conseils sur les IST/VIH/Sida, Bénin
  • Federal Medical Centre (FMCO), Nigeria

Thematic priorities

  • Clinical management
  • Laboratory diagnostics
  • One Health
  • Outbreak management
  • Strengthening of public health systems
  • Surveillance and reporting



01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025


ca. 1,800,000 Euro

Partner Countries

  • Benin
  • Guinea
  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone


Prof. Stephan Günther
Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM)
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 74, 20359 Hamburg, Germany



  • Training and competence development

    Training laboratory staff to perform high-quality diagnostics independently and safely; workforce development through training and technical guidance on various infectious disease agents.

  • Research and provision of evidence

    Conducting studies on issues at the interface between humans and natural hosts of zoonotic viruses for the implementation of the One Health approach.

  • Networking and cooperation

    Expanding and strengthening networks of regional laboratories across West African countries.

  • Procurement of goods and infrastructure development

    Expanding the range of tests available for various infectious diseases.

  • Capacity development

    Improving patient management and disease surveillance through frequent, accurate and rapid diagnostics performed in stationary and mobile laboratories.