On Friday, 17th March 2017, xRapid-Group and the French National Reference Centre for Malaria (CNRP and AP-HP) formalised a long run partnership. The two parties were represented by Jean Viry-Babel, xRapid’s CEO, and Marc Thellier, parasitologist and laboratory manager at the CNRP.
The agreement signature took place in the very luxurious Luxembourg Palace in Paris in the presence of Senator Olivier Cadic, representative of French people abroad.
“We could only be seduced by xRapid dynamism and their very innovative product: an automated diagnostic tool which avoids uncertainties that exist in traditional methods and doesn’t require any experience”, said Marc Thellier.
And thanks to this obvious interest, “a public-private partnership is now running, in spite of the administrative burden” added Jean Viry-Babel.
Partnership agreement content
Even though the partnership was formalised last week, xRapid has been working with the CNRP at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris for more than a year. They helped us test and approve xRapid-Malaria and xRapid-Lab and implement our slide staining protocol.
The main novelty of this private-public partnership is that xRapid is now supporting the PhD student, Ilhame Tantaoui. She is conducting a comparative study between xRapid diagnostic apps and the traditional microscopic analysis. Now that the agreement is concretised, xRapid and the CNRP are looking forward to joining their forces to eradicate malaria through accurate and efficient diagnosis.
xRapid is thrilled to introduce its new distributor: Prescription Products Ltd. After Benin, South Africa, Thailand, The Philippines, Indonesia, and Cambodia, we are proud to expand our distribution network to Eastern Africa. Based in Kenya, Prescription Products distributes pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and devices all over the country. The company works as well in close collaboration with the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board to register medical devices. Thanks to our distributor’s expertise, xRapid-Malaria is now certified by the Ministry of Health and ready to sell in Kenya!
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Our partnership with VSO Malawi (Voluntary Service Overseas) is becoming more concrete as they are carrying on a comparative study using the xRapid-Malaria app. The purpose of this study is to assess the accuracy of the xRapid-Malaria diagnostic test in comparison to the traditional microscopy diagnostic. Three main parties are working alongside on this project: VSO Malawi, xRapid and medical institutions such as CHAM (Christian Health Association of Malawi) and the College of Medicine. By now, 23 lab technicians have been recruited by VSO Malawi to enable the accomplishment of the study and ultimately to fight malaria. We will communicate on the results by the end of April.
As a major charity, VSO Malawi is currently leading other projects in three main fields: Education, Health and Secure Livelihoods. For each field, the NGO is investing a lot of efforts to make Malawi a better place to live in.
VSO’s Education program is made of many projects but one main goal remains: making sure children can read and enumerate. 68 teachers have been taught how to use digital education technology (using iPads app). It resulted in improving learners’ global skills, increasing enrollment, assessing them in a better way and enhancing individual help. They also trained key players at the district level on budget management to help them register a visible impact on the education they provide.
VSO’s Health program comprises different projects which all aim to improve Malawians’ health practices, especially women’s and prisoners’. Aside from the comparative study with xRapid-Malaria, VSO Malawi has a major role in local prisons. The NGO is mainly active in four prisons in the country (prisons for women, youth and mixed ones). They are working to improve the prisoners’ nutrition and provide them with HIV tests and treatments. Furthermore, they chose to anticipate the prisoners’ release by training warders to conduct psychological sessions.
VSO’s Secure Livelihoods program directed most of its effort towards making communities resilient to climate change and improving communities’ economic status. They organised focus group discussions that involved several stakeholders in the organic coffee value chain (including the Government of Malawi as well as 98 farmers and other main stakeholders). Their goal is to improve market access for the poorest.
« As Malawians cut many trees for charcoal production purposes, we are trying to improve environmental awareness in local communities »
VSO seeks to have a strong impact on environment in Malawi. « As Malawians cut many trees for charcoal production purposes, we are trying to improve environmental awareness in local communities » said Anock Kapira, Head of Program at VSO Malawi. Simultaneously, they started a tree plantation program to replace trees that had been cut down.
Even if the country is politically and socially stable, VSO Malawi is redoubling its efforts to improve significantly the standards of living for local communities in the south-east African country. At xRapid, we are very proud to contribute to their Health Program by providing them with a way to prevent and eradicate malaria, and thus, save lives. We would like to thank Anock Kapira, from VSO Malawi, for his contribution to this article.