September 28, 2020 | Goma (DRC)
From September 8 to 15, the team at the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) in Goma, and staff from the INRB in Kinshasa, received training on diagnostic testing, including COVID-19, from Mérieux Foundation experts.
The aim of the training was to enhance the skills of laboratory personnel, particularly in biosafety, biosecurity and waste management, to instruct them in the use of highly specialized equipment, and to help them draft and implement new procedures.
Equipped with technologies that meet the most demanding international quality, biosafety and biosecurity standards, the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Goma is a key player in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic in the country. It performs reliable and rapid tests for the diagnosis of COVID-19 using real-time RT-PCR molecular diagnostics. The laboratory analyzes samples collected as part of regional surveillance and carries out tests for all travelers on domestic and international flights. In total, more than 200 tests have been performed daily for the past 2 months.
The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Goma began with the operation carried out by the Mérieux Foundation, IMeBIO and Bioport in 2019 to airlift container laboratories to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This project to strengthen the country’s epidemiological surveillance and build up diagnostic testing capacities in the eastern part of the DRC, is co-funded by the Mérieux Foundation, with support from Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux, and by USAID, through a partnership with the Mérieux Foundation USA. The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory was given to the National Institute of Biomedical Research of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, headed by Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe. It is operated by teams from the INRB in Goma and directed by Dr. Daniel Mukadi.
About Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories are laboratories of excellence, complying with the highest international standards, located in the heart of outbreak-prone regions in limited resource countries. These cutting-edge facilities for applied research in infectious diseases and epidemiological surveillance, are established by the Mérieux Foundation, with funding from Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux. Ownership is transferred to local stakeholders to ensure the relevance and sustainability of the laboratory’s work. The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the ninth to be created since 2005. Eight other Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories have been built in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Haiti, Laos, Lebanon, Madagascar and Mali.