The Deputy Director for Operations at Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccines in Liberia (PREVAIL), Julia Lysander, has disclosed that there are plans to open the third phase of the PREVAIL Natural Ebola History Study center in Kakata, Margibi County.
The study, according to Madam Lysander, will be conducted at the C.H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata.
The study is intended to establish the medical causes for the kinds of side-effects that Ebola survivors are currently facing and find possible treatments for them.
She made the disclosure over the weekend at a meeting in Kakata, Margibi County. The weekend meeting was intended to hear from survivals ahead of the launch of the study in the county.
She said the program is a five-year study and the investigators will keep track of survivors to see how they are coping after surviving the deadly Ebola virus. The study will target at least 1,500 survivors and 6,000 direct relatives and contacts associated with the survivors from across the country.
Survivals in Margibi County have welcomed the move by PREVAIL to enroll them into the study.
They hope that the study will help solve some complications they now suffer as a result of surviving the virus.
They generally spoke of constant headache, impotency for men, hearing impairment, blindness in both or one eye, among several other sicknesses.
Madam Massa Nyei and Ezekiel Kollie explained that they are suffering from paralysis and mental illnesses, respectively.
“I lost my husband and daughter from Ebola so I got affected and was taken to the MSF ETU, since I left the ETU, I have been experiencing one problem after another. Ebola made me cripple. I can’t even put on my own clothes by myself except somebody helps me,” Massa said.
She described her current situation as very critical and needs quick action to be taken.
“Since I got discharged from the ETU, I have been stigmatized in my community in Brewerville and by friends and some family members. This caused me to move to Kakata where my life is going through pains every day. I used to be a business woman but now I am not able to do anything by myself. What I need now is to get better and free treatment,” she explained in tears.
She hoped that PREVAIL’s phase III study, will help her get treatment that she so desperately needs.
For his part, Ezekiel Kollie said he is suffering from occasional mental illness since leaving the ETU. He said at times he gets unnecessarily angry without remembering anything.
“I’ve developed so many problems since I left the Ebola Treatment Unit. Some of those problems are occasional mental illness. I sometimes get angry without remembering afterward. I am very forgetful again.”
He stated that because, he has become forgetful, he has misplaced more than eight mobile phones since leaving the ETU a few months ago.
He joined Massa in expressing optimism that the PREVAIL Ebola Natural History Study will find remedy to their problems they are now faced with since leaving the ETUs.