Russia donates mobile Ebola lab to Guinea

© James Giahyue
A new mobile laboratory for diagnosing Ebola and other viruses donated by Russia was handed over to scientists from the Pasteur Institute in Guinea on Friday. The Ebola virus has killed thousands in West Africa since the outbreak in 2013.

The lab is part of a project financed by Russian aluminum producer Rusal. The Russian company invested $10 million to build and equip a research center for microbiological study and medical treatment in Kindia, Western Guinea.

Earlier this month, Russia registered a new Ebola drug. According to the Russian Health Ministry the vaccine has proved to be more effective than the other medicines currently being used to treat the disease.

The Guinean government has already asked Russia to help dispensing medicines in the coming months. The Russian health and foreign ministries started working with the African country.

The new center is aimed at diagnosing, treating and preventing infectious and highly contagious diseases. Initially the hospital was for the treatment of those infected with Ebola. The center is currently equipped with an infection hospital, a provisional hospital, a mobile laboratory and a blood and plasma transfusion department.

Russia's Ambassador to Guinea and Sierra Leone Alexander Bregadze said there will be more cooperation between the countries. “We managed to suppress the epidemics. Now we have to continue working to prevent an outbreak of Ebola and other diseases in Guinea and the neighboring states,” he added.

Rusal representative Pavel Vasiliev said the laboratory was handed over at the request of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Rusal is one of the world's largest aluminum producers, and is one of Guinea’s biggest investors. The company actively assisted the government in fighting the Ebola outbreak. The miner employs nearly 1,500 local people.

READ MORE: Russian scientists to set up lab in Guinea to fight Ebola

An Ebola fever outbreak began in December of 2013, spreading from Guinea to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. The epidemic claimed the lives of 11,000 people in these three countries, with 28,000 infected with the virus.