Niger Research Base

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Epicentre’s research center in Maradi, Niger, was created in the aftermath of the 2005 nutritional crisis in Niger.  Epicentre was then officially registered in Niger in 2009. As of today, 400 staff members work in various fields: medical care, quality control, laboratory, data management, logistics, and administrative activities among others. The entire staff is from Niger or surrounding countries. In addition to supporting the Ministry of Health, MSF and other NGOs to respond to outbreaks and nutritional crisis, innovative research studies are also conducted in Maradi and throughout the country.
 
Trials are conducted according to GCPs (Good Clinical Practices) and GPP (Good Participatory Practices) quality standards. Studies are conducted in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, MSF, NGOs, CERMES, the University of Niamey, UN agencies and other academic institutions. 

Laboratory

The research center in Maradi is also equipped with a laboratory on the grounds of the regional hospital. Bacteriology and serology are performed there along with other routine analyses.  

Examples of ongoing activities

Rotavirus

Rotavirus infection is the leading cause of diarrhea due to severe gastroenteritis. It is estimated to kill 1,300 children around the world each day, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. Published results. From the efficacy trial in Niger demonstrate that a new rotavirus vaccine is both safe and can prevent up to 66.8% of cases of severe gastroenteritis in infants. In addition the vaccine does not require a cold chain and this is a significant advantage in remote and low-income settings. The vaccine is licensed in India and is currently awaiting prequalification by WHO. The study continues and explores long term efficacy and the effect of poor prenatal nutrition on infant immune response to rotavirus and other routine vaccinations.

Severe Acute Malnutrition

Standardization of treatment protocols for severe acute malnutrition has helped to reduce high mortality, however mortality remains substantial. This is likely due to the severity of complications associated with late presentation and health-care associated infection. There is currently no data available on the risk and type of health-care associated infections. This study aims to inform our understanding of the magnitude of the problem and can also help guide implementation of measures to reduce the risk of such infections and multi-drug resistance.  

Rift Valley Fever outbreak investigation

Rift Valley fever is a virus that primarily affects livestock but also has the capacity to infect humans, and is fatal in severe cases. An outbreak of Rift Valley fever was first reported in October 2016 in Niger. Epicentre has been supporting the NGO ALIMA and the Ministry of Health of Niger to investigate this epidemic. 
 

 

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