The recent and current outbreaks of cholera, plague, dengue, yellow fever, hepatitis A and E, Ebola, Marburg Viral Hemorrhagic fever, and now SARS-CoV-2 virus have the shortcomings of health systems in responding to disease outbreaks. This includes a dire shortage of skilled health workforce at subnational level to conduct active surveillance and contact tracing. It is clear that the current and future health challenges, as well as current developments in disease surveillance, demand new and changing competencies and strategies. Developing a competent health workforce, well versed in molecular and serological testing, with the right skills for active surveillance and contact tracing is paramount in containing any epidemic. Such information is critical in order to provide evidence-based recommendations for public health interventions and disease control programming. Successful programs to track infections disease in some African countries have demonstrated lack of information in other countries, such as Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In DRC, to date, there has not been access to sufficient diagnostic capabilities to respond to outbreak and post-outbreak response across the country. Currently, the DRC is working on building on laboratory and epidemiologic capacity but there is still a need to assist with implementation of serology and next generation sequencing to follow up on survivors of EVD and to establish a robust surveillance system for this and other high priority, emergent pathogens. Vysnova can assist by providing enhanced diagnostic capabilities and managing all procurement and logistics associated in a tiered approach. This will allow government stakeholders to receive prevalence and incidence data on cases more rapidly, national and regional laboratories to focus on advanced characterization of unknowns and outbreak response efforts, patient management at local health facilities to be enhanced, and community trust to be built. Cri
tically, screening for potentially pandemic diseases in this way will enable the Congolese government to quickly alert the global community if there are disease threats warranting international attention. The purpose of this funding is to implement enhanced follow up of survivors as well the establishment of a robust diagnostic program in support of a strong surveillance system for viral hemorrhagic fevers, including EVD. We will engage a collaborative partner through our network of partners and SMEs to support engagement with INRB and DRC providing them technical support, training and reagents for ongoing testing of survivors and also capacity build their laboratory to perform various serological and PCR assays for the detection of select VHFs. Our overall objective is to improve Management systems on Public Health Laboratories and hospitals, increasing the trained people involve at all levels of laboratories and hospitals, ultimately prevent or mitigate the impact of small- and large-scale public health emergencies naturally occurring such as outbreaks, spillovers and intentional or accidental releases of dangerous pathogens.