Fields of activity

Access to biological diagnosis

Enhancing access to biological diagnosis for vulnerable populations is the main area of intervention by the Mérieux Foundation. This work involves reinforcing biomedical analysis laboratories and helps to improve the surveillance of infectious diseases in regions particularly exposed to threats of epidemics.

Reinforcing access to high-quality biological diagnosis is not only about improving patient treatment and follow-up care, but also about improving public health from the perspective of surveillance. The COVID-19 pandemic served as a reminder that biological diagnosis plays a key role in controlling epidemics. This involves renovating laboratories, setting up reliable equipment and quality management systems and enhancing the skills of laboratory staff in order to meet patients’ needs. To this end, the Mérieux Foundation is one of the organizations approved by the Global Fund as a technical laboratory expert.

As well as improving equipment and technical skills, the Foundation provides management consultancy services with the aim of guaranteeing financial autonomy for laboratories by introducing a range of services compatible with the local context. The Foundation also supports health authorities in consolidating efficient national laboratory systems to optimize laboratory services and maximize the impact of their activities on public health.

This support is based on three key areas:

  • A collaborative approach based on partnerships with local healthcare providers, international organizations, academic research, businesses, NGOs, etc.
  • A long-term vision offering lasting support to achieve autonomy and the local appropriation of infrastructures and projects.
  • The development of networks to pool experience and share skills within the framework of multinational cooperation.

2022 marked the return to more normal operations after the pandemic, which had put the brakes on a number of projects affected by a surge in diagnosis requirements and the impact of lockdown and travel restrictions. Unfortunately, the political and security situation in several of the countries in which we operate is becoming increasingly concerning. To ensure the continuity of its activities, the Foundation relies on a solid network of local partners and institutions and on the exceptional ability of its teams to adapt and fulfill their missions while respecting the security conditions in place.

The Mérieux Foundation's activities since 2001 in the context of its infrastructure expertise

  • More than 90 laboratories constructed or renovated
  • 23 health training centers redeveloped
  • 4 mobile laboratories made available
  • 40 consultancy and expertise assignments for partners including the WHO, the UNDP (United Nations Development Program) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria

Access to biological diagnosis

Biological diagnosis projects 2022



Reinforcing the capacity of health services in the province of Bolikhamxay



Reinforcing the capacity for dealing with epidemic



Elargissement de l’accès au test de la charge virale VIH

Chad, Guinea & Mali

Global Laboratory Leadership Program (GLLP)

Global program for leadership training in laboratories

Madagascar & RDC

IDDS – Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance

Projet de détection et de surveillance des maladies infectieuses



Defining a national medical biology policy


National Program for Combating Tuberculosis

Ensuring diagnosis activities in the context of a crisis

8 laboratory members

Quality Initiative

Support for the implementation of a quality management system



Technical support for the national laboratory network

West Africa


Development of biomedical services in 7 member countries


TDDA – Tackling Deadly Diseases in Africa

Improving global health security by reducing the impact of epidemics

Fields of activity

Applied Research - Interventions in Public Health

Through the strengthening of its applied research capacities, the Mérieux Foundation encourages and supports local scientific teams in the development of research programs to target the fundamental needs of the most fragile populations. The results of this work contribute to the prerequisites for defining public health policies adapted to the priorities of the regions.

The Mérieux Foundation’s activities for reinforcing research activities in countries with limited resources focus on three main public health issues: antimicrobial resistance, tuberculosis and respiratory infections as well as emerging pathogens. This work relies on a network of outstanding laboratories located at the heart of regions exposed to infectious diseases with a high public health impact. The GABRIEL network, several members of which have been designated ‘national reference laboratories’ by the authorities in their countries, is a solid example of the Foundation’s involvement in this area. These structures, which comply with the most exacting international standards, have been playing an increasingly important role in controlling and monitoring epidemics since the 2020 health crisis.

The reinforcement of local applied research capacities relies on three pillars of intervention:

  • Strengthening the capacities of the GABRIEL network of laboratories, and in particular, the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories.
  • Training researchers through the organization of courses and conferences focusing on major public health issues.
  • Developing collaborative projects encouraging South-South collaboration.

Wide-reaching initiatives

In 2022, the Foundation defined a strategic framework, formalizing the priority given to the promotion of operational and cross-functional research activities combining several of its areas of intervention: access to diagnosis, knowledge sharing and actions focusing on the mother and child. In this context, several diagnosis platforms were consolidated throughout the year, including the installation of a high-speed sequencer at the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Madagascar, training sessions on next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics in Guinea and Senegal, and strengthening the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in Cameroon.

Collaboration at the heart of our actions

The Mérieux Foundation, which operates within the framework of multiple partnerships in all its areas of intervention, is a partner of three research organizations operating in French-speaking countries with limited resources:

  • The French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) for the introduction of support measures for young researchers and collaborative programs. A joint invitation to apply for grants was launched within the GABRIEL network in 2022.
  • The Pasteur Network (Réseau International des Instituts Pasteur), including the participation of the Pasteur Center in Cameroon in the implementation of the APRECIT project involving the Institut Pasteur in Madagascar, the Pasteur Center in Cameroon, and the Mérieux Foundation.
  • The AVIESAN network (French National Alliance for Life Sciences and Health) with a research project into antimicrobial resistance in partnership with scientists in Cambodia, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, and Burkina Faso.

Since 2020, the Foundation has also been a partner of three academic research teams working in its three main areas of intervention:

  • Antimicrobial resistance: team led by Professor Jean-Yves Madec at ANSES (French national agency for food, the environment and work), a reference laboratory for the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) and the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health).
  • Tuberculosis: team led by Professors Oana Dumitrescu and Florence Ader from the Hospices Civils de Lyon, with expertise in basic, translational and clinical research recognized by the international scientific community.
  • Respiratory infections: team led by Professors Manuel Rosa-Calatrava and Bruno Lina from the VirPath laboratory (Université Claude Bernard, Lyon), a team linked to the main national center for respiratory viruses with a reputation for its pathophysiological and clinical research into respiratory infections and the analysis of new antivirals. The team of Professor Philippe Vanhems (Hospices Civils de Lyon [HCL] and the International Center for Research into Infectious Diseases [CIRI]) covering the epidemiological and public health aspects of respiratory infections.

These collaborations aim to capitalize on synergies in terms of expertise, in order to optimize the relevance of programs and their impact on the health of populations.

© Martin Grosjean

Applied research

Applied research projects 2022


APRECIT – Cameroon & Madagascar

Improvement of screening for latent tuberculosis


DEDICATE – Bangladesh

Assessment of pediatric and extra pulmonary tuberculosis diagnostic tools

Acute respiratory infections

FDP-COVID19 – Bangladesh

Study on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during a humanitarian crisis

Antimicrobial resistance

Fleming Fund Fellowship – Senegal

Supporting national governance with regards to tackling AMR 

International Research Network

GABRIEL network

Acute respiratory infections

NOSO-COR project – Multiple countries

Reducing the risk of nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2

Acute respiratory infections

PCV Project – Cambodia, India & Paraguay

Assessing the prevalence of pneumococcal serotypes in circulation

Antimicrobial resistance

TRIuMPH – Madagascar

Monitoring antimicrobial resistance with a multidisciplinary approach

Fields of activity

Knowledge sharing

Sharing knowledge across national borders and disciplines is one of the Mérieux Foundation’s key missions. This commitment is based on promoting scientific exchange, training, and collaboration, with the objective of making advances in public health by tackling infectious diseases.

Based on international and interdisciplinary cooperation to ensure that progress in healthcare benefits as many people as possible, knowledge sharing is an activity involving all departments and all areas of intervention of the Mérieux Foundation. This approach relies on a portfolio of advanced training courses, international scientific conferences and public health initiatives prioritizing six main themes: vaccinology, diagnostics, infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, cholera, and rabies.

Maintaining a high-quality dialogue

Since 2020, the health crisis has led to the emergence of new forms of communication, which have enabled the Foundation to maintain a continuous and regular dialogue between scientific experts, political decision-makers, universities, and those working in the field. The Foundation is convinced of the importance of face-to-face meetings and the critical role they play in strengthening personal relationships, deploying collaborative practices, and stimulating collective intelligence.

In 2022, 20 events were held in person, bringing together more than 2,500 participants. These events included:

  • Four advanced training courses that the Foundation co-organized, attended by more than 170 health professionals, some of whom came from countries with limited resources,
  • A meeting of the global alliance for rabies control and meetings of the consortium in charge of eradicating cholera, attended by many participants.

Most of these events were organized at the Les Pensières-Center for Global Health, run by the Mérieux Foundation near Annecy.

Advanced training courses

After two years of adapting to restrictions due to the health crisis, all four of the Mérieux Foundation’s advanced training courses were once again organized in person in 2022. The advanced training courses on vaccines (ADVAC), diagnosis (ACDx), and antimicrobial resistance (AMR/One Health) were held at Les Pensières-Center for Global Health. The second edition of the Afro-ACDx course was organized in Senegal.

For the participants, these training courses represent opportunities to create networks in which they can establish valuable and lasting professional relationships. Alumni networks linked to the Foundation’s training courses provide effective platforms for sharing and exchanging information on problems and challenges encountered and the identified solutions.

Public health initiatives

The Mérieux Foundation contributes to several global public health initiatives. By combining complementary areas of expertise, optimizing resources, and creating synergies, these partnerships play an essential role in the fight against infectious diseases.

Scientific conferences

In partnership with a network of international experts, the Mérieux Foundation organizes scientific conferences attended by various health stakeholders to explore major topics of scientific and medical interest.

Les Pensières Center for Global Health

Les Pensières is an international public health center situated beside Lake Annecy, with expertise based on over 40 years’ experience in dialogue and a commitment to tackling infectious diseases. Designed as a space for sharing and reviewing knowledge, it provides the ideal working environment for health organizations, associations, and institutions sharing the same values as the Mérieux Foundation (with conference rooms, catering facilities, and accommodation). In 2022, in line with its commitment to global health, the center organized local conferences on social and environmental issues to raise public awareness. Les Pensières hosted 160 events and more than 6,800 people throughout the year.

Courses, conferences and initiatives

Advanced training course

ACDx course

Advanced course on diagnostics

Advanced training course

ADVAC course

Advanced course on vaccinology

Advanced training course

Afro-ACDx second edition

Advanced course on diagnostics in French on the African continent

Advanced training course

AMR course

Course on antimicrobial resistance

Public health initiatives

Coordination of research on infectious diseases

Global research collaboration infectious disease preparedness

Public health initiatives

Controlling rabies

13th Meeting of the Partners for Rabies Prevention

Scientific conferences

Fight against dengue 

Asia Dengue Voice and Action task force (ADVA)

Public health initiatives

Global partnership to fight cholera

Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC)

Scientific conferences

Mekong Hepatitis Symposium

Eradicating viral hepatitis by 2030

Public health initiatives

Tackling pneumonia  

Campaign with the Every Breath Counts coalition

Public health initiatives

Vaccine hesitancy and trust

An initiative for the acceptance of vaccines

Scientific Conferences

Vaccinology Conference 2022

International symposium in Asia Pacific

Fields of activity

Mother & child programs

Working locally in the field to meet the needs of the populations most at risk, the Mérieux Foundation has gradually expanded its field of intervention to include the concept of global healthcare. It supports local projects in aid of vulnerable populations, particularly mothers and children, who are the primary victims of crises, instability and insecurity.

Faced with complex situations in the countries in which it operates, the Mérieux Foundation is committed to supporting local partners as they improve the living conditions of disadvantaged populations. These projects deal with access to healthcare, support for education and raising awareness of basic needs such as hygiene or food, all of which are prerequisites for making progress in public health and tackling infectious diseases.

Some of the achievements worth a particular mention include the construction of a Mother & Child health center in Lebanon in 2020 and the renovation of a maternity unit in Mali in 2022. Developed as part of a global healthcare approach (physical health services, psychosocial support), these flagship projects could be replicated in other countries with similar requirements.

Meeting the needs of the most vulnerable people

In 2022, the Foundation formalized a dual intervention strategy – to continue deploying and supporting projects with its historic partners, as well as responding to emergency situations such as conflicts or natural disasters. To this end, aid was supplied to Moldova from spring 2022 to help the country host Ukrainian refugees. Exceptional support was also provided for local associations assisting victims of the cyclone season in Madagascar.

These activities were mainly funded in 2022 by the Mérieux Foundation and the Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux within the framework of a close partnership between the two foundations.

Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux

A key shareholder in the Institut Mérieux, the Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux is an independent family foundation created in 2001 under the aegis of the Institut de France. It devotes most of its resources to funding projects in the field. It draws on the expertise and human resources of the Mérieux Foundation for the operational implementation of certain programs.

Mother & child programs

Mother & child projects 2022


Inauguration of a new maternity unit and renovation of a health center

Access to healthcare


Increased capacity of the Duris health center

Access to healthcare

Burkina Faso - Mali - Senegal

Reinforced partnership with Samusocial

Access to healthcare


Renovation of the Sirakoro health center

Accès aux soins


Small Grants 2022


Support for the enfants du Mékong association

Access to education and healthcare

Burkina Faso

Support for the Go Paga association

Accès à l’éducation et à la santé