Léon Mba International Foundation


Léon Mba International Foundation


Created in 1968 by General de Gaulle and the Gabonese President Léon Mba, IMEA (Institut de Médecine et d'Epidémiologie Appliquées - Léon Mba International Foundation) conducts research, teaching and evaluation in the field of public health in developing countries (Africa, Asia, South America) and in France.

IMEA research covers all tropical diseases, with a special focus on malaria, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS. A major part of IMEA's resources are devoted to training and support of health care professionals and researchers working in developing countries. IMEA also provides multidisciplinary teams capable of evaluating the different types of HIV/AIDS programs.


IMEA's research and public health activities


IMEA supports and provides facilities for research projects, in conjunction with various national and international partners. The aim is to reinforce the capacities and expertise of developing countries, notably by helping health and welfare personnel and policy-makers with decision-making in the field of public health. 


Basic and clinical research

Research on HIV in France : 

  • Antiretroviral resistance
  • Genetic diversity and phylogeny of HIV
  • Pathogenetic mechanisms of HIV
  • Cellular restriction of HIV replication
  • Follow-up of the French HIV-2 cohort (viral load assay, resistance, etc.). 

Research on malaria.

  • Implementation of new tools for the detection of resistant Plasmodium strains.
  • Immunity in young children, and placental pathology.

Clinical research :

  • Therapeutic trials, in Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Burundi, Benin and France, on combinations of new antiretrovirals and simplified antiretroviral schedules. 

Public health research

  • Evaluation of health care systems in different countries.
  • Evaluation of AIDS programs (prevention of mother-child transmission, antiretroviral access, psychosocial support, etc.).
  • Socio-anthropologic studies of sexual behaviors and HIV infection in Brazil.
  • Action-research on mediation in public health, to improve access to prevention and treatment among vulnerable populations.

The Scientific Committee and calls for research projects. The IMEA scientific committee is composed of French and overseas physicians and biologists. It is responsible for selecting research projects with a view to IMEA funding. 


Training and teaching



The training programs are designed around the needs and specificities of IMEA's different partners, and consist of modules allowing participants to acquire scientifically validated expertise and know-how. The teaching methods are interactive and are based on real-life situations and decision tree-based analysis of clinical cases. 

  • Training of health care professionals in a variety of topics
  • Training in public health mediation
  • Training in the prevention of mother-child HIV transmission
  • Training in holistic care of persons living with HIV/AIDS
  • Training in HIV/AIDS management of children and the family unit
  • Practical workshops on psychosocial support and mediation programs 


Each year IMEA trains health care professionals from many countries and continents. University courses are jointly organized by IMEA and the Tropical Health Department of the Xavier Bichat Faculty of Medicine (Paris VII University), in collaboration with other national and international institutions. 

Inter-University diplomas :

  • Inequalities, vulnerability and health
  • Travel medicine
  • Tropical medicine - international health

University diplomas :

  • HIV infection and other STDs: clinical aspects, prevention.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV infection) and their impact on reproductive health (in collaboration with the Alfred Fournier Institute).

IMEA organizes other teaching sessions specifically for health technicians, including those from developing countries.

  • Course on Priorities in Infectious Diseases and International Health, in collaboration with the Epidemiology Division of Minnesota University.
  • European master's degree in tropical medicine (French-language), in partnership with the Bordeaux Institute of Tropical Medicine.