December 4, 2014 | Bamako (Mali)
A new mobile laboratory to be used for Ebola virus disease detection is being inaugurated today at the Charles Mérieux Infectiology Center of Mali in Bamako, a joint project of Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, GIZ and Fondation Mérieux
The project is funded as part of the German Partnership Program for Excellence in Biological and Health Security and implemented by Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, GIZ (German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation) and Fondation Mérieux, in partnership with the Malian Ministry of Health and the Charles Mérieux Infectiology Center of Mali.
This initiative is part of a joint German-French contribution to the fight against Ebola. The mobile lab project aims to reinforce the ability of the Malian health system to respond in the event of an outbreak of Ebola or other highly infectious diseases. The new laboratory will be able to rapidly identify dangerous pathogens. This will make it possible to take measures to care for patients and protect the population if needed.
The mobile laboratory, developed by the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, will be based at the Charles Mérieux Infectiology Center in Bamako. It is ready to be deployed in the field when a potential outbreak is suspected. The entire equipment of the mobile lab is packed in ruggedized and rollable cases. It can be transported by car, helicopter or passenger aircraft to remote regions. Fondation Mérieux and GIZ will organize sessions in Bamako with French and German experts to train Malian scientists and laboratory personnel on the equipment’s use and maintenance to enable them to run the laboratory independently. They will also teach them secure sample collection techniques and hold crisis simulations in the field to practice their skills.
About Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise that supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development.
It operates throughout Germany and in more than 130 countries worldwide. It has more than 16,000 staff around the globe, almost 70 per cent of whom are employed locally as national personnel.
GIZ’s measures to strengthen health systems support reform processes and human, organizational and institutional capacity development. They include concurrent and complementary interventions involving health institutions, regional authorities and health ministries. Non-governmental organizations and the general public are systematically involved.
On behalf of the German Government, the GIZ is conducting activities to help build the capacities of Mali’s central government, public authorities, municipalities, civil society organizations and the private sector. GIZ currently has 10 international staff, 130 national personnel, one development worker and one integrated expert working in Mali.
About Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology
The Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology (InstMikroBioBw) is the scientific center of competence for biological medical defense of the Bundeswehr and represents the German Armed Forces in research, education and training. InstMikroBioBw provides procedures and methods for rapid identification dangerous infectious disease agents, conducts expert training courses for medical personnel and participates in the development of medical concepts and strategies.
InstMikroBioBw’s scientific focus is on research and development including studies on the pathogenesis, recognition, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases that may be caused by various bacteria, viruses and biological toxins.
The InstMikroBioBw is contributing to the German Partnership Program for Excellence in Biological and Health Security with projects in Mali, Tansania, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
For more information, please visit: www.instmikrobiobw.de