Please join us in recognizing VectorLink Niger and their partners at Centre de Recherche Medicale et Sanitaire (CERMES) for their success in setting up a functional insectary and susceptible mosquito colony. This is a huge accomplishment and has been a long journey, as the facility was rehabilitated by VectorLink in early 2020, marked by an official inauguration ceremony last July. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic made hands-on training difficult. In addition, CERMES was tasked with handling all COVID testing for the country during this same time. These challenges resulted in an unsuccessful attempt to establish a susceptible colony from Liverpool.
After a series of discussions leading to a mutually agreeable Memorandum of Understanding and a detailed timeline, the CERMES team demonstrated their commitment to getting the insectary up and running with the long-term objective of building national capacity for entomological monitoring in support of the Nigerien NMCP and the fight against malaria in Niger.
In August of 2020, the insectary was fully staffed, all parties were fully engaged in ensuring the success of this endeavor, and three batches of mosquito eggs were shipped to Niamey. As of this week, the CERMES team reports having so many thriving adult mosquitoes that they are running out of space in cages despite having conducted cone bioassays on 60 mosquito nets from the 36-month durability monitoring collection round! Sounds like a good problem to have!
Kudos to VectorLink Niger and CERMES for staying motivated and taking the opportunity to learn and improve. The fruits of your labor have paid off in achieving short-term objectives and will continue to support efforts to control malaria for many years to come!