Opera missionaria della Provincia Euro-Mediterranea dei gesuiti
28 giugno 2021

A laboratory for Covid and tropical diseases control

MAGIS Dicono di noi A laboratory for Covid and tropical diseases control

A biomedical analysis laboratory meant to be both a mean to fight Covid-19 and, at the same time, a research and monitoring center for tropical diseases - such as malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS-HIV, hepatitis, Chikungunya - which continue to make victims. This is the new project launched at Le Bon Samaritain University Hospital, in N'Djamena - capital of Chad, in Africa's center - by Magis Foundation, the Jesuit NGO based in Rome, that promotes international cooperation activities, through Jesuits and lay people commitment in various parts of the world, with the aim of supporting local communities in becoming protagonists of sustainable development. The lab’s purpose is "to guarantee assistance to the most vulnerable, focusing on the current emergency situation caused by the pandemic, but without forgetting the impact of those diseases that still cause thousands of deaths, each year, in Africa". Provided with modern equipment, enabling to carry out serological tests and swabs in a short time, the laboratory also enables studies and researches on Covid-19, which are essential to monitor infections and assure reliable analyses, as well as allowing a mass screening of the population. In addition, the lab can contribute to control of other serious diseases that affect Chad; one example is malaria, which accounts for 50% of disease cases in the country and, as in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, is the main cause of death. In addition to providing the specialized laboratory, Magis Foundation has expanded the hospital-dedicated project by setting up a sub-intensive care unit (with 4 beds), providing electro-medical equipment, renovating the spaces used for teaching (university halls and accommodation for students) and supporting the Child Nutrition Centers. Finally, the local health personnel training is fundamental: 90 professionals including doctors, biologists, laboratory technicians and nurses, plus 450 university students in Medicine. The project is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and is managed in close collaboration with the Chadian Ministry of Public Health Task Force in response to Covid-19, as well as with the State University and various health institutions. "The world' rich countries must reflect on the health emergency they are experiencing in this particular historical moment, realizing that it is a chronic situation in other countries of the world, where the right to basic health assistance is denied due to poverty, war, exploitation and international indifference". This is what Magis Foundation president, Ambrogio Bongiovanni, says when presenting the laboratory project in Chad to fight Covid and tropical diseases, "a concrete sign of how it is possible to reduce distances.”

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