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Madagascar News Forums The Transformation of Antananarivo Reply To: The Transformation of Antananarivo


The Pasteur Institute of Antananarivo originated in the microbiology laboratory which was founded in 1899 in Tsimbazaza. At the beginning, it is a laboratory whose essential mission is to manufacture the Jennerian vaccine, preventive against smallpox, and to ensure the treatment of rabies. As early as 1897 General Gallieni asked the Paris Institute to designate for Madagascar one of the first colonial doctors who began to learn in the laboratories of Paris, inaugurated in November 1888. Pasteur prescribed to undertake without delay The study of pestilential diseases that decimate the populations of Asia and Africa.
It is Dr. Thiroux, physician of the Colonies, who is chosen to organize the center of Antananarivo. Like all the initiators of the Great Island, Dr. Thiroux arriving in Antananarivo, has everything to create, local and auxiliary personnel. “Under the name Vaccinogenic Park, the future Institut Pasteur and its first objective had to go to the most urgent, which was to produce the Jennerian vaccine in sufficient quantities for the needs of the population. “In the first year, the Vaccine Department can provide 12,000 doses of a perfectly effective vaccine and in the following year more than 250,000 doses.
The installation of the Service of the rabies is made with much more difficulty, because the fixed virus, dispatched from France, “had no more virulence on its arrival”. On his way to Toamasina, however, Dr. Thiroux was able to obtain a strain of origin on the arrival of a boat, which, maintained for fifty years, still served at that time. But he immediately understood that “an immense field of research was opening up to the activity of the colonial bacteriologist at the service of industry.”
For this reason he brings to the doctors of the hospitals the help of the laboratory, treats the lepers, studies the anthrax of animals and bovine tuberculosis, is interested in agricultural microbiology by selecting and producing pure yeasts requested by The local industry. Finally, he studies the fermentation of rice musts for the local manufacture of beer and alcohol. On his departure, Dr. Thiroux left to his successors an Institute already well adapted to the needs of the country. Dr. Neiret replaced him in 1903. He was assisted by several assistants, military doctors. He is studying rabies in Madagascar, whose virus is “more aggressive than in France”. Several other military doctors succeeded Dr. Neiret, whom a short illness carried away in 1906.
A civilian, Dr. Salvat, a physician and pharmacist at the same time, headed the establishment from 1907 to 1919. He created a chemistry laboratory where the plants and empirical drugs of the Malagasy were studied. He is particularly interested in the issues of human and animal parasitology. In the meantime, a research laboratory led by a veterinarian, Dr Carougeau, a former collaborator of Yersin in Indochina, is attached to the Institute. Among other important tasks, he is preparing the local preparation of the anti-charcoal vaccine against the epidemic which decimates the herds of cattle.
After Dr. Boucher, who replaces Dr. Salvat, Dr. Girard headed the Institut Pasteur from 1922 to 1940 and gave him his final organization. The means, staff, materials and premises are insufficient, “it was necessary to make new”. With the support of Governor General Marcel Olivier, the establishment is completely reorganized. In 1927, Dr. Roux and Calmette officially recognized the Pasteur Institute of Antananarivo as a subsidiary of that of Paris.
The main objective assigned to the development of the Institute is to make it a scientific center to work not only for medicine and hygiene, but also “for colonization in all its forms”. Thus, all the chemistry laboratories, the research of food fraud, the veterinary service, agricultural chemistry housed in a vast field of six hectares with parks, pastures and gardens are grouped together in order to work together. Various buildings and pavilions equipped in a very modern way.
“Forty years of research have devoted the work of the Pasteur Institute to the medical field
To the benefit of hygiene and public health. Thus, smallpox, which was severely infected in Madagascar, has completely disappeared, rabies is controlled, the laboratory of
Performed more than 18,000 analyzes in 1949. “