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Fight against yellow fever: Institut Pasteur Foundation in Dakar to set up new vaccine production unit

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For the Senegalese foundation, the only vaccine producer pre-qualified by WHO based in Africa, AFD’s contribution, via a EUR 6.5m subsidized loan, will sustainably strengthen the fight against this disease, for which there is no treatment.

30,000 deaths caused by yellow fever

WHO estimates that there are 200,000 cases of yellow fever every year and that 30,000 people die from this disease around the world. Yellow fever is a viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitos and is found throughout intertropical Africa, South America and on certain Caribbean islands. But Africa is particularly affected (90% of cases) and WHO estimates that 610 million people in 32 countries are at risk from this disease on the continent.

Vaccination only way to fight against yellow fever

According to WHO, 32 African countries are considered “at risk” of yellow fever, with an exposed population of 610 million people, including 219 million in urban areas. There is no treatment and vaccination is the only way to combat yellow fever.

Yet the number of vaccines produced today is insufficient to complete all the vaccination actions required in endemic countries.

Only production unit based in Africa

FIPD is one of the four producers in the world pre-qualified by WHO for the manufacturing of this vaccine. This project should therefore sustainably strengthen the fight against this disease. FIPD is also the only production unit for this vaccine based in Africa.

The EUR 6.5m loan allocated by AFD to FIPD is part of the AfricAmaril project, with a total cost of EUR 23m, cofinanced by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Government of Senegal. The new unit will be installed on an area covering 2 ha, allocated by President Macky Sall, on the Diamniadio site to the east of Dakar. The future building, with a surface area of some 3,000 m², will comprise a part for production, a quality control laboratory, an administrative part and annex buildings.

The reduction in the interest rate (covered by the French Government) – or concessionality – for AFD’s financing will allow FIPD to develop its activities for the surveillance of arboviruses and hemorrhagic fever viruses and for responses to epidemics. It will also allow it to continue and scale up its training actions.

The works will begin in late 2016 and the building is expected to be delivered in March 2019.

The agreement was signed by Laurence Hart, AFD’s Director in Senegal, and Professor André Spiegel, Director of the Institut Pasteur Foundation in Dakar (FIPD), in the presence of Jean Félix Paganon, French Ambassador to Senegal.