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Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation
News article19 January 2024Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, Joint Research Centre

CARE: new African Centre for Resilience to Epidemics opens its door as benchmark in biosafety and biosecurity for West Africa

African Centre for Resilience to Epidemics CARE Laboratory
© CARE

 

Large-scale epidemics are becoming more and more frequent and constitute a health, economic, social and security threat. As the climate heats up, the threatening of ecosystems is causing a sharp increase in emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Resource-limited, at-risk settings are most vulnerable to the burden and amplification of such biological risks — particularly in Africa.

To strengthen the response and preparedness for epidemics and other diseases, it is of paramount importance that health services have cutting-edge technologies, facilities and trained personnel to ensure early detection, management and control of outbreaks.

CARE: African Centre for Resilience to Epidemics

As part of its mission to assist in the advancing of a sustainable public health ecosystem in Africa, the EU CBRN CoE has supported the establishment of the new African Centre for Resilience to Epidemics (CARE), at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar (IPD), Senegal.

Inaugurated on 19 January, the CARE Centre of Excellence will be a benchmark in terms of safety and biosecurity, with expertise in the most efficient technologies. Its mission will also be the development of new disease control strategies that will strengthen the response to epidemics.

CARE will consolidate IPD's role as a regional centre of excellence for training in disease surveillance and epidemic preparedness and response in Africa. It will train the next generation of key African players, who will acquire cutting-edge skills in data collection, analysis and modelling for the anticipation of future health threats. 

African Centre for Resilience to Epidemics CARE
© CARE

A Centre of Excellence in biosafety and biosecurity for West Africa

With EU support, including the provision of EU-funded equipment such as high-containment mobile laboratories, the IPD has been certified by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) as a Centre of Excellence in Biosafety and Biosecurity for the West African region.

Through CARE and in collaboration with Africa CDC, the IPD will organise training and certification courses in biological risk analysis, biosafety cabinet management, biological waste management and other biosafety and biosecurity-related skills for all stakeholders in West African countries.

Strengthening COVID-19 and other epidemics response in Africa

The European Union supported the establishment of the new African Centre for Resilience to Epidemics (CARE), at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar (IPD), as part of the project LabPlus Africa, within the framework of the EU CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative.

Launched shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, LabPlus Africa has implemented a strategic framework to strengthen the response to the COVID-19 and other epidemics in Africa. Overall, the project has advanced health services by upgrading the IPD facilities in order to accommodate new control technologies, as well as by providing specialised training for the whole West African region.

Senegal and all African partners of the IPD have engaged in the project, spanning twenty-three Partner Countries in the African Atlantic Façade, Eastern and Central Africa, and North Africa and Sahel regions.

LabPlus Africa has been delivered on behalf of the EU CBRN CoE by the consortium partners Praesens Foundation and the Fondation Institut Pasteur de Dakar.

Read LabPlus Africa project factsheet to learn more about the activities implemented and the main achievements. 

Details

Publication date
19 January 2024
Authors
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments | Joint Research Centre
CBRN areas
Bio-safety/bio-securityCrisis managementPublic health impact mitigationSafety and security
CBRN categories
Biological
CoE Region
AAF - African Atlantic FaçadeECA - Eastern and Central AfricaNAS - North Africa and Sahel