The Liberia-US Joint Clinical Research Partnership (PREVAIL), has been urged not to simply quantify its achievements based on things that are visible because there are many intangible benefits coming together to solve common problems.
Speaking at the official launch of the second phase of the vaccine study on Sunday at the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai said if the experience of the Ebola scourge taught “us nothing else, it reminded us about our common humanity.”
He said the idea that a nation can become great by going alone is a thing of the past, a past that really never existed in the first place.
Vice President Boakai recounted that the fate of “our fellow citizens who were admitted to Ebola Treatment Units were most uncertain. Fear overwhelmed us as we read one gloomy story after another and the predictions spread the dooms message that hundreds of thousands of people in the West African region would perish from Ebola. I thank you for being among those who did not cringe to leave this to happen.”
In finding answers to the Ebola scourge, he said he was privileged to participate in many conversations and efforts to find answers to end the Ebola epidemic, and with this experiment, prevent a recurrence.
Contrary to perception, he said “we realize that we have abounding wealth of knowledge and expertise here in our own country” and therefore it should be utilized to bringing people together to share knowledge and expertise and together tackle problems.
He noted that whether it was the promise of ZMAPP to be those drugs that will help cure Ebola or the quest for more effective vaccines or efficient point of care diagnostic tools, “we have followed and deeply appreciate the work that you do to make life better.”
Vice President Boakai urged closer working relationship with the A.M. Dogliotti School of Medicine to carry out collaborative integration of research with clinical practice; and design specific mentorship program that enhance PREVAIL’s footprint for generations to come.
He said as vaccinations have proven to be one of the most powerful tools in preventing the occurrence of diseases and producing healthier societies, “I can only thank you for your efforts to improve the tools of modern medicine.”
He assured Liberians’ preparedness to support the second phase and called on the two countries to hold together to strengthen the spirit of partnership between the Government of Liberia and the United States Government Department of Health and Human Services that gave birth and impetus to the Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia (PREVAIL).
Mr. John Tierney, Clinical Oversight Manager, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, (US National Institutes of Health) noted the success of the study to provide benefits to Liberians and the world against infectious diseases. He promised to work together with Liberia.
Other speakers included Mrs. Musu Thompson, president of the National Governors Council of Liberia; the US Embassy; Chief Zanzan Karwor, national chairman of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia (NACCEL); Dr. Moses Massaquoi, Chairman of West African Regional Consortium on Vaccine and Therapeutic; Mr. Tolbert Nyeswah, director general National Public Health Institute of Liberia; among others.