The U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3 (NAMRU-3), which was established in 1946, conducts research and surveillance to support military personnel deployed to Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia. The mission also includes the evaluation of vaccines, therapeutic agents, diagnostic assays, and vector control measures.
NAMRU-3 has modern research laboratories and a medical research library. It is the only laboratory in Africa with an animal facility accredited by the American Association of Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. It is the largest DoD overseas laboratory, with biosafety level 3 biocontainment space and field and hospital study sites located throughout Egypt. A malaria field site is located in the upper east region of northern Ghana.
NAMRU-3 works closely with the Egyptian Ministry of Health, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NAMRU-3 has been a WHO Collaborating Center for HIV/AIDS since 1987. In 1999, a Global Emerging Infections System program was established, which expanded the NAMRU-3 mandate to include public health activities and capacity building in host countries. This led to NAMRU-3’s recognition as a WHO Collaborating Center for Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2001. NAMRU-3 also serves as a WHO reference laboratory for influenza and meningitis in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and has been recognized as an H5 reference laboratory by WHO.