French Guiana is the sole European Union (EU) outermost region located in the Amazonian forest complex of South America. Its human population has to frequently face epidemics of diverse origins (viral, parasitic or bacterial). The emergence of infectious agents is determined by socioeconomic, environmental and ecological factors. Infectious cycles, particularly for vectors or animal pathogen reservoirs may be affected by the anthropisation of the forests or behavioural changes of local populations. These conditions, in turn, expose human beings to wild cycles and favour the breakdown of species barriers. The study of health risks at the interface between the forest and human beings is a challenge undertaken by STRonGer consortium. The main objective of the project is to set-up a taskforce that is more capable of managing infectious and emerging diseases in French Guiana. As coordination and support actions, STRonGEr will create a favourable context allowing the beneficiaries in French Guiana to be in the position to carry out research with the following strategic objectives:
- promoting a close cooperation and twinning actions for upgrading and boosting human potential in sciences and technologies,
- reinforcing diagnostic and management capacities by updating the available equipment and introducing new technologies,
- increasing the research capacities through highly qualified human resources and technical equipment,
- holding seminars and a scientific conference involving international experts to raise the local human capacities,
- disseminating the acquired expertise through different supports.
Successful achievement of STRonGer’s aims is expected to promote scientific excellence and enhance visibility of the consortium members in research on infectious and emerging diseases. Finally, the impact of upgrading the research potential on this topic will be enormous in terms of public health not only for French Guiana but also for the Guyana Shield and beyond.
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