Madagascar: a mission on the frontlines to fight sickle cell disease and train pharmacists


During a mission in Madagascar, a delegation from the Fondation Pierre Fabre took part in the seventh annual REDAC (Sickle Cell Disease Research Network in Central Africa) Congress this past 13-15 June. Another important event on this mission was a meeting with the Minister of Higher Education and Research and decision-makers at the University of Antananarivo to formalise plans to give the University of Madagascar its first Faculty of Pharmacy by 2020.

Delegation members included Fondation Pierre Fabre Administrator and Secretary Mr Jacques Fabre, Scientific Director Mr Jean-Paul Caubère and Programme Manager Véronique Teyssié.

Attendance at the REDAC (Sickle Cell Disease Research Network in Central Africa) Congress

More than 200 people from 13 countries in Africa, Europe, North America and India attended the second International Symposium on Sickle Cell Disease in the Indian Ocean and the seventh REDAC (Sickle Cell Disease Research Network in Central Africa) Congress. This gathering was an opportunity for several key entities working to fight sickle cell disease to meet and discuss many issues, as well as a way to alert governments of the need to implement public policies to effectively address this serious challenge. Participants were also able to discuss ways to improve screening and patient-care practices.

Planned distance-education project

This congress, financially supported by the Foundation, drew a great many of the Foundation’s partners and provided the chance to hold work sessions, including as part of an ambitious programme carried out in Madagascar and in Central Africa, first begun in 2014, to improve patient care. A kick-off workshop for a distance education platform on sickle cell disease (e-learning) – conducted in partnership with the European Institute for Cooperation and Development (IECD) and with the support of the World French-Speaking Digital University (UNFM) – was held to improve this programme’s training component. The goal of this platform is to train more physicians and caregivers on this disease.

Giving Madagascar its first Faculty of Pharmacy

During this mission to Madagascar, the delegation was received by the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Mrs Marie-Monique Rasoazananera, in the presence of leaders from the University of Antananarivo, Professor Panja Ramanoelina, President, Professor Luc Hervé Samison, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Mr Guy Raoelison, Head of the Pharmacy Department. These meetings were a chance to formalise the decision taken jointly by the Fondation Pierre Fabre and the Fondation Mérieux to fund construction of an independent Faculty of Pharmacy, before the 2020-2021 academic year, to house its activities. The ground-breaking ceremony for this building project will be held in mid-November in the presence of officials and partners. With the Fondation Mérieux, the Fondation Pierre Fabre has been supporting the pharmacy department at the University of Antananarivo since 2005. Each year, this department sees an average of 225 students.