Fondation Merieux

A family foundation dedicated to fighting infectious diseases


Strengthening the quality and accessibility of diagnostics in West Africa


Improving the health of populations is dependent upon the quality of the clinical biology laboratory system and the services it provides. However, diagnostics is the area in healthcare that has received the least multilateral aid and investment by governments.

RESAOLAB*, the West African network of biomedical analysis laboratories, is the first regional program to address this public health issue. Developed with West African healthcare experts, it takes into account all of the factors that affect the governance and performance of laboratories.


  • Over 500 public and private laboratories united in a network

  • 12 training modules created

  • Over 100 training sessions held for laboratory technicians

  • 5 laboratory directorate buildings constructed in 5 countries

  • Over 200 laboratories supervised as part of the External Quality Control program

  • 45 laboratories equipped with a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)


RESAOLAB focuses on 6 priorities:

  • Improving regional and national governance of laboratory systems by helping to define development policies;

  • Improving laboratory services by setting up a standardized quality system;

  • Strengthening initial and continuing training of laboratory staff;

  • Establishing a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) in the network’s main laboratories and improving infectious disease surveillance via electronic data transfer;

  • Reinforcing national procurement, maintenance and laboratory management systems, through a regional approach;

  • Obtaining increased funding for laboratory systems.


The program is made possible thanks to the support of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the International Cooperation of the Principality of Monaco, the Islamic Development Bank, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Fondation Mérieux. The WHO, WAHO** and ECOWAS** also collaborate on the program.

RESAOLAB partners


RESAOLAB was launched in 2009 by Fondation Mérieux in collaboration with the ministers of health of Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal and with the support of Agence Française de Développement (AFD). Four new countries joined the network in 2013: Benin, Guinea, Niger and Togo.

The program is governed by an international steering committee and 7 national committees. Two meetings are held each year to foster exchange among members and ensure good coordination.

The first phase of RESAOLAB made it possible to run major continuing training programs, equip training and quality assurance laboratories, develop tools to support epidemiological surveillance programs and create a particularly active multi-country network. Today, RESAOLAB is expanding its activities beyond francophone countries to establish a regional base for the program in West Africa.

Duration: Phase I: 2009-2013; Phase II: 2013-2017

Budget: € 8 million

*RESAOLAB: Réseau d’Afrique de l’Ouest des Laboratoires d’Analyses Biologiques (West African network of biomedical analysis laboratories)

**WAHO: West African Health Organisation; ECOWAS : Economic Community Of West African States

Download the RESAOLAB brochure1.8 Mb pdf

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