Volga-Dnepr Group has assisted the Merieux Foundation’s efforts to control the Ebola virus outbreak by flying mobile bio-medical laboratories.
An Antonov AN-124-100 was positioned at Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport, France on Tuesday 8 October for the foundation and its logistics partner Bioport Logistique.
The three 40 foot “plug and play” mobile container laboratories built in the Rhone-Alpes region belonging to the Merieux Foundation as well as a mobile lab belonging to the Praesens Foundation of Belgium flew on the AN-124-100.
The cargo was transported to Kigali, Rwanda before travelling overland to Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo where the government National Institute for Biomedical research will operate the laboratories.
The Merieux Foundation first received the call to respond to the Ebola epidemic in July and within two months special biosafety level 2 and level 3 containers were ready to be shipped by Volga-Dnepr.
Laboratories perform diagnostic tests and ensure biological monitoring of patients, and the containers were joined on the AN-124 by the truck-based mobile laboratory from Praesens, working in conjunction with the Africa Centres for Disease control and prevention.
Stuart Smith, global director humanitarian of Volga-Dnepr Group says: “The laboratories need to be treated with special care throughout the loading/unloading and delivery process. Our technical teams were able to perform a site visit to ensure that the laboratories were prepared for air transport. Volga-Dnepr Group operates probably the world’s most unique fleet of cargo aircraft and is well placed to meet the global needs of government, NGOs and foundations in the response to natural disasters & health crises.”