In 2012, AMP re-opened its regional office in Abidjan (Cocody, Saint-Jean), Côte d'Ivoire to develop projects in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Fight against AIDS, the National Institute of Public Hygiene (INHP), the Institut Pasteur in Côte d’Ivoire (IPCI), the National Blood Transfusion Center (CNTS), and the University of Cocody-Abidjan (now called Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny). Originally established in 2000, the purpose of the regional office is to support African institutions working in the realm of preventive medicine; to facilitate the use of preventive medicine, particularly in regards to immunization; and to organize or participate in initiatives related to preventive medicine in the region.
The Abidjan regional office facilitates the development of AMP’s work in Côte d’Ivoire, which dates back to the organization’s foundation in 1972. In the 1970s, AMP collaborated closely with the Organisation de Coordination et de Cooperation pour la Lutte Contre les Grandes Endemies (OCCGE) to enhance vaccine delivery and infectious disease diagnosis in the OCCGE’s eight Francophone member countries (including Côte d’Ivoire). In the 1980s, AMP worked with UNICEF, WHO, and other partners to expand immunization coverage in Côte d’Ivoire and other West African countries (notably Burkina Faso and Senegal).
In 1994, AMP strengthened its partnership with local health stakeholders through the organization of the 4th International Seminar on Vaccinations in Africa (SIVA). The following year, in 1995, AMP launched “EPIGEPS,” a training course in epidemiology and health program management for district-level medical officers in West African countries.
Since 1997, AMP has also collaborated with the INHP on preventive vaccination campaigns against yellow fever and meningitis as well as field epidemiology training. Between 2001 and 2003, AMP coordinated a study on hepatitis B vaccination in Abidjan to determine an optimal infant immunization schedule.
Since 2002, more than 70 Ivoirians have participated in the master’s degree program in vaccinology and health services management for district-level medical officers, carried out as part of the EpiVacPlus program. In 2007, AMP supported the development of the EpiVac.net network of professionals in applied vaccinology, field epidemiology, and health management, and in 2009 a national branch was set up in Côte d’Ivoire.
In January 2010, with the support of AMP’s SIVAC Initiative, Côte d’Ivoire established the “National Committee of Independent Experts for Immunization and Vaccines in Côte d’Ivoire” (CNEIV-CI), thus becoming the first Gavi-eligible African country to have a National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG). In October 2010, AMP, INHP, and IPCI launched a mobile microbiology laboratory (LaboMobil®) to strengthen epidemic disease surveillance and health monitoring in Côte d’Ivoire.
Finally, AMP strengthened its partnership with the IPCI in September 2011 when the two parties signed an agreement to work together on a range of projects, the first of which relates to cholera surveillance (Africhol). Other projects will cover research and interventions in public health, scientific and technical communication, and the development of institutional capacities and human resources for health.