December 12, 2017 | Bamako (Mali)
During its 5th International Committee Meeting in Bamako earlier this month, the RESAOLAB project took stock of its phase two achievements and shared the project’s next steps. The meeting included a workshop on antimicrobial resistance as well as a round table on the future of young researchers in West Africa.
On December 5th and 6th, almost 60 participants, including medical biology experts from Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo gathered to discuss laboratory systems in West Africa. Also in attendance were the Technical Advisor of Mali’s ministry of Public Health and Hygiene; Dr. Milleliri, a representative of the French Embassy; Adrien Abolu; a representative of the French Development Agency; Cécile Dakouo, of Monaco’s Department of International Cooperation; and Benoît Miribel, the Managing Director of the Mérieux Foundation.
RESAOLAB phase two (2013-2017)
During phase two, RESAOLAB strengthened West African efforts in health laboratory capacity and management:
- Three laboratory departments created
- Seven quality plans implemented
- Nearly 1,000 laboratories supervised
- More than 130 scholarships established
- 217 continuing education courses completed
- Thirteen e-learning modules developed
The RESAOLAB project also supported the implementation of LabBook, a laboratory information management system (LIMS), training 63 people across all seven member countries in its use.
With RESAOLAB’s help, every member country undertook proactive measures to strengthen their laboratories, including mapping, developing strategic plans and policies, or reflecting sample referencing.
The future of RESAOLAB
After each member country had reviewed and presented the potential for RESAOLAB’s future, the members chose to continue the project.
The antimicrobial resistance workshop illustrated the need for a resistance observatory in West Africa, a project already supported within the RESAOLAB program by Dr. Abdoul-Salam Ouedraogo and Professor Salou Mounerou, two young researchers and recipients of the Young Investigator Award from Institut Mérieux. To monitor the development of this initiative, links were established with the African Society of Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) and the African Association for Research and Control of AMR (AARAM). WHO Afro representative, Dr. Lucien Manga, and Preparedness and Response Mali One Health Program officer, Dr. Djeneba Sy Sylla, shared antimicrobial interventions.
The next RESAOLAB meeting will be held in Dakar, Senegal, in May 2018 alongside the International Forum on Biology in Africa (FIBA).