MRF helps fund PCR Capacity Building in Togo
05 December 2012
The French NGO Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) recently collaborated with Togolese health authorities to transfer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology for meningitis diagnosis to the Togolese National Institute of Hygiene (Institut National d'Hygiène, INH).
The mission was carried out as the capacity building component of a research project called “Natural immunity against serogroup X Neisseria meningitidis
”, implemented by the University of Oxford in collaboration with AMP, the Togo Ministry of Health and the UK Health Protection Agency. Funding came from MRF, along with the Oxford Vaccine Group and AMP.
The PCR transfer involved training a Togolese technician from the INH. For this purpose, the technician came to AMP’s microbiology laboratory in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, where he received 10 days of training from AMP PCR biologist, Oumar Sanou. In addition to providing training, AMP prepared the entire mission, including the development of a protocol and purchase of PCR supplies. Previously, the INH in Togo had no PCR equipment for the diagnosis of meningitis.
This mission is just one example of the ways in which AMP and MRF are supporting laboratory capacity development for meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa.
Serogroup X meningococcal disease has in the recent decade caused several outbreaks in Togo and neighboring Burkina Faso. There is no vaccine against serogroup X meningococci.
Linda Glennie, Head of Research and Medical Information at MRF said: “We’re really pleased that our funding of this project has allowed greater understanding of current immunity levels to serogroup X meningococcal disease in Togo. It has also aided the establishment of diagnostic expertise within the country, enabling the Togolese to continue this work through diagnosis and tracking of meningitis outbreaks in the future”.
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