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West-African Laboratory Network

Module 1.1 Strengthening stationary diagnostic capacities for identification and characterisation of emerging and tropical infectious diseases in partner countries

Module 1.2 Mobile diagnostic units in sub-Saharan Africa and Europe for use in missions during crisis situations

Short description

The capacity to safely diagnose infectious diseases caused by tropical pathogens with epidemic potential is limited in many African countries. This limitation in diagnostic capacities results in failure to react adequately to outbreaks, which likely contributed to the delayed response observed during the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. This Programme aims to bridge existing gaps and enhance capacity by strengthening infectious disease diagnostic laboratories in Africa, enabling tropical, epidemic, emerging, and rare infectious diseases to be diagnosed on-site.

The project includes two modules, module 1.1 focusing on stationary laboratories and module 1.2 on mobile laboratories.

Aims of the project

Module 1.1

  • Gradual expansion of diagnostic capacities in partner countries for rapid detection of emerging infectious diseases
  • Development of a sustainable, partnership-based concept
  • Establishment of long-term cooperation in order to respond rapidly in the event of an outbreak and to implement specific research projects within the partnership
  • Collaborative studies on pathogen occurrence

Module 1.2

  • Provide Mobile Lab units in Africa and Europe ready for operation, i.e. keep laboratories technologically up-to-date, maintain and replace equipment if necessary.
  • Carry out further training missions in Europe and Africa to maintain a stable pool of staff for immediate deployment.

Partner countries

Benin, Guinea, Nigeria and Togo

Partner institutions

Module 1.1:

  1. Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Irrua, Nigeria
  2. Laboratoire de Virologie, Hôpital National Donka, Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Conakry, Guinea
  3. Centre de Recherche Entomologique de Cotonou, Cotonou, Benin
  4. Bacteriology Laboratory, National Institute of Hygiene, Lomé, Togo

Module 1.2:

  1. Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin
  2. Institut für Mikrobiologie der Bundeswehr, Munich
  3. Institut für Virologie der Universität Marburg, Marburg
  4. Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria