By Francis Pelenah, Jr
At least 3,900 persons have enrolled in the Ebola Natural History Study being conducted by PREVAIL – the Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia in Margibi County.
The number includes about 1,000 Ebola survivors and 2,000 of their close contacts, people who took care of the survivors at the time they came down with the deadly Ebola virus, according to PREVAIL Social Mobilization Manager Bartholomew Wilson, during a community engagement in Worhn, the administrative headquarters of Gibi District in Margibi County.
The community engagement meetings, organized by the Liberia Crusaders for Peace in collaboration with PREVAIL, are meant to rally Liberians’ support for the scientific research being conducted by the joint US-Liberia clinical research partnership.
PREVAIL has launched the second phase of its vaccine study aimed at finding a potential vaccine that will help the rest of the world prevent future outbreaks of Ebola.
According to Mr. Wilson, unlike the first phase, children will be allowed to participate in this current vaccine study because when it is approved, the vaccine will be available to everyone.
He said though the vaccine has proven effective, the current study will also determine how long the vaccine will remain in people who have taken it.
He encouraged Liberians, particularly the people of Worhn, to make history for themselves by participating in the ongoing Ebola vaccine research study.
The study is being conducted at the Redemption Hospital in the borough of New Kru Town, Monrovia.
Mr. Wilson reminded participants that other vaccines and medications “we take toda were all born out of similar research studies conducted in other countries before the final and approved products reached Liberia.”
He told the well attended meeting that the ongoing research study is a reinforcement of a previous vaccine study successfully conducted at the Redemption Hospital in 2015.
The one-day community engagement meeting brought together a cross section of community youth, elders, religious leaders, Ebola survivors and their close contacts, and health workers.
The people of Worhn welcomed the PREVAIL vaccine study noting that it is in the best interest of the country.
Their spokesman, Commissioner Amos Z. Boyer, pledged the community’s support for the PREVAIL vaccine study and other research works being conducted by the joint US-Liberia clinical research partnership.