Fondation Congolaise pour la Recherche Medicale (FCRM), Republic of Congo
The Fondation Congolaise pour la Recherche Médicale (FCRM) was created as a legal entity in 2008 to address the issue of the limited number of Congolese scientists conducting health research activities in the Republic of Congo. FCRM is an independent non-govermental institution. The foundation has a collaboration agreement with both the Congolese Ministry of Public Health and Minsitry of Science and Technology, as well as the University Marien Ngouabi (the only Public University in the Republic of Congo).
Structure: The decision-making body is the Conseil d’Administration (Board of Directors) led by the founders. Overall direction is guided by an Administrative and Executive Board led by the Executive director appointed by the Conseil d’Administration. The day to day management is overseen by the Executive director with the assistance of an Operations manager, an Administrative and finance manager, a logistics officer, a project manager and an administrative assistant. The financial accounts unit is subject to independent financial audit biennually. The foundation raises funds through grants and donations to address its objectives. FCRM is in charge of the Molecular Biology- and Parasitology laboratories of the Faculty of Heath Sciences overseeing the personnel, research activities and maintenance of facilities. FCRM further serves to strengthen collaborations between academic, research and health institutions in Congo and advocate for public and private sector support to health research in the country. Regionally, FCRM coordinates the Central Africa Network on Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Malaria (CANTAM), a network of excellence aiming to develop capacities for clnical research. Since 2018, FCRM hosts also the PANDORA-ID-NET coordination. Both consortia are funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP2).
Three facilities host the activities of FCRM. These comprise: (1) a molecular biology lab established at the Faculty of Health Sciences University Marien Ngouabe, (2) a health facility including clinical research facility and (3) a centre for infectious diseases research. The focus of activities at FCRM include:
1) molecular epidemiology related to malaria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and HIV pathogens.
2) bacterial and viral infections in diarrheal infections.
3) basic immunological responses to identified pathogens.
4) Studies related to co-infections.
The Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House examines key global health challenges and how they manifest themselves as foreign policy and international affairs problems across various sectors. It seeks to help leaders around the world - in government, private foundations, international organizations, business and civil society - reach well-informed decisions that improve global health security. It does so by conducting independent research and analysis and facilitating dialogue between sectors and communities.
Using its convening power to bring leading figures from public health, academia, government, civil society and the private sector to the table, the Centre has focused its work on three interlinked aspects of global health security: disease threats and determinants that transcend borders; access to health-related products, technologies and services; and international affairs, governance and health.
Under Chatham House Rule, the Centre on Global Health Security organises events (workshops, symposia, roundtables, conferences) where decision makers and other stakeholders can discuss health-related matters and come to agreement on a way or ways forward.
As well as its unique convening power, Chatham House’s strengths lie in the network of technical and academic expertise spanning local, regional and global levels. The Centre on Global Health Security will work closely with colleagues in other PANDORA Work Packages to ensure coordination and alignment of activities to achieve the project’s overall goals.
Chatham House’s core activities within the PANDORA project include:- Mapping the key stakeholders across Africa with an important role in driving national and regional response efforts
Chatham House will convene stakeholders to enhance networking across Africa and the dissemination of the project’s key outputs. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the project’s outputs are accepted and formally embedded in African-led institutions.
HerpeZ is a Zambian medical research and capacity development organization founded in 2012 by researchers interested in diagnostics and herpesvirus infections and other neglected causes of morbidity and mortality that affect high disease burden populations across sub-Saharan Africa. HerpeZ is supported by the EDCTP, UBS Optimus Foundation, Human Herpesvirus 6 Foundation, Thrasher Research Fund and Kids Here & There, and has active research programmes on tuberculosis, cytomegalovirus and human herpesvirus 6 infections, bacterial pneumonia/sepsis/meningitis and emerging infectious diseases.
HerpeZ is based at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia, and has strong collaborative links with the University of Zambia (both the medical and veterinary schools) and Zambian Ministry of Health through the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI). In the United Kingdom, HerpeZ partners with The University of Lincoln and University College London. Laboratory research in the U.K centres on the development of model systems to study respiratory co-infection and pathogen-pathogen interactions in the respiratory tract. We are also engaged in molecular epidemiology and genomics research studying infectious disease transmission and the evolution of quasi-species.
HerpeZ is committed to capacity development and in particular, the creation of career development opportunities for Zambian and other African scientists through it's links with the UNZA-UCLMS Mentorship Programme.
On the PANDORA project HerpeZ is primarily involved with delivering Work Package 2, developing training materials and organizing training workshops for first responders in all four Africa regions, as well as developing mobile lab capacity in Zambia and the Republic of Congo. HerpeZ is also involved in clinical surveillance and animal health work packages.
The role of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in PANDORA project hinges on the established infrastructures and trained health workers for the laboratory diagnosis and clinical management of Lassa fever and other viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) over the years. There is therefore a readiness to deliver on the following:
In 2014, with assistance of the European commission, a mobile PCR laboratory unit for molecular diagnosis of VHFs was established alongside the existing stationary laboratory at Irrua Specialist teaching hospital, Nigeria. The mobile laboratory unit has a staff complement of at least 18 personnel with skills and competencies to work in emergencies/ field situations in the event of an outbreak of Ebola, Lassa fever or any other highly infectious diseases with epidemic potential. During the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria and later in Sierra Leone (2014 – 2016), the mobile laboratory was deployed to the field and supported immensely in reducing delays between clinical suspicions and commencement of clinical management. Therefore one of the expected roles of the Nigeria Mobile laboratory unit will be to facilitate through onsite training the development and establishment of similar mobile laboratory capacities in at least 2 other sub regions in Africa (Eastern and central Africa).
2. A site for training of clinicians, nurses, laboratory personnel, etc
Based on the existing infrastructures and clinical services, Irrua Specialist Teaching hospital has conducted several national training of health workers in molecular diagnostics, clinical management of VHF patients including management of wastes and infection prevention and control practices both onsite and other settings. Health workers from the Africa region can therefore be similarly trained in the management of VHFs. This also provides opportunity for young African and European academicians/researchers (Masters and PHD students) to use the facilities for their research work/ field experience/practicum.
3.A potential site for field trials of novel therapeutics and vaccines
The high number of Lassa fever survivors and patients in endemic communities presents a ready opportunity for testing promising vaccines and therapeutics. A building by the German foreign office serving as training center for clinicians and conducting trials has just being completed in June 2018.