The Principal Investigator, Dr. Mosoka Fallah, of the Liberia-United States Joint Clinical Research Partnership (PREVAIL), has said that Liberia and the global health community must take advantage of the opportunity to unravel the many unknowns associated with the Ebola virus.
Dr. Fallah suggests that optimized clinical care can be provided to survivors while at the same time preparing Liberia and the entire world with the effective prevention and treatment tools against any future Ebola outbreak.
During the launching of the Ebola Natural History Study at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor last Wednesday, Dr. Fallah announced that the study is investigating the variety of health problems faced by people who have survived Ebola virus disease and providing study participants with referral to other healthcare facilities in Liberia for free treatment.
The study, also known as PREVAIL III, is designed to understand better what health problems Ebola survivors experience and to determine whether they are the same or different from the health problems experienced by people who have recovered from other serious diseases.
The study will help to determine if people who survived the Ebola are “immune” or protected from getting Ebola in the future.
Since the start of the study on June 17, a total number of 147 Ebola survivors have attended a thorough information session. Of this number, 27 people were successfully enrolled after completing the process, which includes consent to participate in the study, a review of the participant’s medical history, and medical and eye exams.
The study is expected to enroll approximately 7,500 people, including 1,500 Ebola survivors and 6,000 of their close contacts within a five-year period.
The Ebola Natural History Study is led by a team of Liberians and Americans under the umbrella of a larger Liberia-U.S. bilateral program to build a clinical research partnership and infrastructure in Liberia.
Later this month, the study will also open at Duport Road Health Center, C. H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata and Monrovia’s Redemption Hospital. Additional sites in Liberia will join the study in the future.