Michele Boccoz visited the Abidjan Research and Training Center (CePReF) on Friday, January 20th. The visit was organized by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. The Ambassador was accompanied by representatives of the PACCI program (research program supported by ANRS and Inserm in Ivory Coast), Expertise France, the Ivorian National Program for the Fight against AIDS and the NGO Solthis.
At present, 16,000 patients infected with HIV / AIDS, of which 1,287 children are monitored at CePreF, including 6,000 adults and 400 children who receive antiretroviral therapy. CePRef is one of the main healthcare centers in Abidjan, located in the most populated area : Yopougon.
The CePReF laboratory is one of the two main laboratories where OPP-ERA, the project for access to viral load testing, is being implemented. Funded by UNITAID, the project has just been extended for 3 years. The Ambassador also visited CeDRes, the second laboratory on Tuesday 17 January.
CePReF has been equipped with open platforms as part of the OPP-ERA project. This “open” and innovative system, used for medical molecular biology techniques, makes it possible to carry out HIV viral load tests.
At the end of her visit, the Ambassador expressed her satisfaction and encouragement to the the CePREF laboratory team. Michèle Boccoz emphasized that the OPP-ERA project, beyond its technical quality, is a tool adapted to public health concerns in Ivory Coast in the fight against infectious diseases.
Funded by UNITAID and implemented by a Expertise France in partnership with the Ivorian National Program for the Fight against AIDS (PNLS), OPP-ERA has already enabled more than 24,000 viral load tests in Ivory Coast since its launch in 2013.
The second phase of the project (2016-2019), in Ivory Coast, aims to:
- strengthen the laboratories of CeDReS and CePReF of Abidjan with new facilities in order to increase its capacities
- Put in place a 3rd laboratory at Daloa Regional Hospital Center
- to carry out, in addition to HIV viral load tests, hepatitis B diagnosis thanks to the open polyvalent platforms in place.
The local press talks about the visit
- Côte d’Ivoire-Santé: Michèle Boccoz, l’ambassadrice française chargée de la lutte contre le VIH et les maladies transmissibles, visite le laboratoire CePReF d’Abidjan.
- Laboratoire CEPREF: L’Ambassadrice Michèle Boccoz satisfaite du travail
OPP- ERA project
Launched in March 2013 in four countries – Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, the OPP-ERA project aims to improve the virological monitoring of people living with HIV through free access to the viral load test and by stimulating competition on HIV viral load test market to develop affordable access to these tests in West and Central Africa. The project has been extended for three years in order to increase access to these tests on a wider scale.
The OPP-ERA project is part of the international community commitment to diagnose and treat people living with HIV. By 2014, UNAIDS has set the goal of “90x90X90” so that by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV can know their HIV status, 90% of people diagnosed HIV positive receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of people under treatment have a viral load to test.
Funded by UNITAID and implemented by a Consortium composed of Solthis, as the lead partner and project manager in Guinea, Expertise France, as the project manager in Ivory Coast and Cameroon, Sidaction, as the project manager in Burundi and ANRS, in charge of scientific supervision and results exploitation