A Network in Action

Liaising closely with the ministries of Health from the seven countries, the RESAOLAB program is conducted and based around five areas:

  • Improving regional and national governance of laboratory systems;
  • Improving laboratory services by setting up a standardized quality system;
  • Consolidating initial training and continuing education for laboratory staff;
  • Setting up a Laboratory Information System (LIS) in the network’s main laboratories;
  • Reinforcing national laboratory maintenance and management systems, through a regional approach.

An operational unit, established in each ministry, is in charge of setting up activities under the supervision of a national steering committee and an international steering committee, the meetings of which are held once a year in order to follow-up on activities in the regions. The project stakeholders also meet every year at theme-based workshops in order to concordantly propose and implement various activities related to medical biology.

Our focus areas


RESAOLAB focuses on 5 effective and targeted fields of action designed to improve laboratory results and the health of populations in 7 West African countries.

Develop training

Initial and continuing training enable laboratory staff’s skills consolidation.

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Improve quality

Quality medical biology exams are essential to set reliable diagnostics.

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Reinforce governance

Clear national and regional policies facilitate laboratory development coordination and performances.

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Support the surveillance

The use of a Laboratory Information System (LIS) strengthens laboratory management and contributes to improved epidemiological surveillance.

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Create a dynamique network

Sharing expertise and resources helps build strong national and regional laboratory networks and create momentum around a common vision.

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Additional activities to fight COVID-19

As of detection of the first positive coronavirus cases on the continent, the Mérieux Foundation was able to provide support for diagnosis by sending SARS-CoV-2 screening kits to Burkina Faso and Senegal.

To step up this response and to take further action to enable the network to arm itself against the epidemic, the AFD granted an additional subsidy of 1.5 million Euros to RESAOLAB through the Initiative “COVID-19 – Health in Common”. This funding is used to develop COVID-19 laboratory response strategies by mobilizing the expertise of the network to back national responses.

Taking action during the EBOLA crisis in phase 2

Primarily through RESAOLAB, the Mérieux Foundation played a crucial role during the Ebola outbreak in 2014-2015 by:

  • Providing biosecurity training to over 500 health workers, distributing biosafety equipment.
  • Equipping its Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Mali with a mobile laboratory for deployment during remote outbreaks, which is now part of a training program spanning the G5 Sahel countries.
  • Establishing protocols for safe international shipment of samples and arranging shipment to its Jean Mérieux-Inserm BSL-4 Laboratory in Lyon.
  • Providing ambulances and off-road motorcycles for patient and sample transport in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Mali in partnership with the U.S. State Department.