The CEO of Clinical RM, Victoria Tifft, as head of a three-team delegation, has completed a two-day (Nov. 20-21) visit to Liberia with the view to funding a medical research center in Monrovia.
The team included Robert A. Salata, MD, interim chairman, Department of Medicine as well as Physician-in-Chief at the Case Western Reserve University in the United States and Ms. Claudia C. Christian, Senior Director, Global Operations of Clinical RM.
At a press conference last Friday in Monrovia, CEO Tifft said they were in the country to explore the possibility of meeting with selected government officials to inform them about their interest in a long term partnership with Liberia.
“We fell in love with Liberia when we came to help fight the Ebola Virus Disease and so we are here to explore what can be of mutual benefit to the Liberian people,” she said.
Tifft said they are hoping for a long term relationship with Liberia to ensure that a medical research center is built so that Liberia can be pro-active in future cases of infectious diseases.
Robert Salata, MD, said Case Western Reserve University is interested in the Liberia project.
“Though it is my first time coming to Liberia, we have been working in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa so our presence in this project demonstrates our interest in making sure that Liberia benefits from our projects in Africa,” he said.
Salata explained that though they have a partnership with Dr. Kimmie Weeks’ Youth Action International, they are interested in working with universities since their work involves research on infectious and other diseases, hence their relationships with Clinical RM.
“We have spent 28 years in Uganda and so we expect the relationship to work with Liberia in this particular area,” he said.
Helping Liberians to gain training and earn degrees to better manage the program, as they have done in Uganda, are some of the benefits of their proposed partnership.
Diseases such as heart attack, stroke, seizures, cancer and HIV are among those medical conditions for which the team could provide training.
Ms. Claudia Christian said she hoped that a broader relationship with Liberia could bring maximum benefit to the country in the future.
She recounted Clinical RM’s role during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and assured Liberians of its committed service.
Dr. Kimmie Weeks, speaking earlier, noted the need to make infectious diseases a thing of the past in the country, which can only come about through partnership with professionals and companies that are ready to work with Liberians.
“Ebola had a significant effect on the country’s health care sector and so we are always glad to get support from reliable sources and particularly partnership arrangements that better help our people,” he said.
Clinical RM is a United States based company that was instrumental in the fight against the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Liberia.
They were stationed at ELWA and produced the plasma that helped to save many lives, according to health officials. They also funded a mobile laboratory which was critical in the rapid testing of suspected Ebola cases.
The team was the guest of Youth Action International.