A COVID-19 workshop for a global update on the pandemic in ECOMORE partners’ countries - Ecomore Project

After two years of active engagement facing various waves, governmental lockdowns, and vaccination campaigns, all of ECOMORE II partners (at the exception of NHL) gathered online on May 18th 2022 for a workshop to expose their latest COVID-19 related activities, in presence of Mr. Emmanuel Dollfus, Deputy Director of AFD Cambodia, Malika OK, Program Officer at AFD Cambodia, and Pierre Crozier, Task Team Leader at AFD Paris.

Since 2020, and with the support of AFD, the partners of ECOMORE have been very mobilized and were able to benefit from the solidarity of the Pasteur Network in response to the pandemic thanks to its strong expertise and its regional presence. The institutes of the ECOMORE program have been respectively mobilized at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, as national reference laboratory for the new SARS-COV-2 designated by their Ministries of Health. As such, they are responsible for most, if not all, of the diagnostics in their countries The regional network very early on successfully strengthened and maintained their infrastructure and human resources capacities in front-line laboratories for an optimal response to the pandemic.

All partners uncovered a complete photograph of pandemic situation in their respective countries, ranging from the first case detected, to variant surveillance and detection, while exposing case distribution by age groups and gender as well as vaccination coverage in each country.

In each country, efforts were made to validate testing of novel technologies and protocols for alternative procedures and reagents for testing SARS-COV-2. Viral isolation, which is vital for the continued validation and technical improvement and for serological assays, along with comparison of machines and kits led to recommendations for test usage and selection in several regions of the world. More importantly, these rapid diagnostic capabilities were deployed and transferred to decentralized structures and, from the initial outbreak until present day, sequencing virus isolates has been an integrated part of their endeavors in order to monitor lineages, variants and any other mutations, for an overall improved surveillance.

Training was also highlighted as a primordial constituent in the fight against the pandemic. Indeed, IPL director Prof. Paul Brey took this opportunity to underline the importance of the 10-day training course the IPL staff was granted by IPC team which, he believes, was unbelievably helpful to curb the pandemic in Lao PDR. In addition, NIHE and IPNT intend to launch a series of training on biorisk management in Central Vietnam for laboratory staff to strengthened capacity for surveillance and outbreak investigation.

IRD presented their regional dashboard that provides a synthetic view of the situation, trends and various indicators in the ECOMORE partners countries.

All partners warmly acknowledged the AFD’ support which fully benefited to the local populations and the regional network.


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