Institutions to train in preventive Ebola measures for Ivory Coast

Solange Ngazoa Kakou (left,) arrived from Ivory Coast for a four-week training program to learn how to screen samples for the Ebola virus in the lab of Matthias Schnell at Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University. | Photo courtesy of Business WIre

Four institutions announced Tesday they have joined to train officials and health professionals from the Ivory Coast in the preparation for a potential outbreak of the Ebola virus.

Thomas Jefferson University (TJU); the Organization of International Visitors of the USA; the Pasteur Institute of Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and Thermo Fisher Scientific have introduced a four-week training program in the lab of TJU professor of microbiology and immunology Mathias Schnell. His lab is working on an Ebola vaccine that is expected to enter clinical trials this year.

"My training has a significant effect as it will improve our molecular testing quality and the implementation of new methods for surveillance and research,” the Pasteur Institute's head of Molecular Biology Platform Solange Ngazoa Kakou said. “The collaboration with TJU scientists will help our training of medical scientists in West Africa and efforts in hemorrhagic virus control."

The most recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has 22,444 confirmed Ebola cases in West Africa, including 8,959 deaths. 

“It is important to provide the countries of West Africa with the proper resources and training to help them combat this outbreak,” Schnell said. “With the generous support of R&D leaders Junko Stevens and Jonathan Wang from Thermo Fisher, we have been able to move quickly to get the appropriate state-of-the-art equipment for the training center.”