The Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccine in Liberia (PREVAIL), along with the Liberia-US Joint Clinical Research Partnership, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, is expected today to launch the Ebola Natural History Study at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor.
This study is intended to learn about the range of health problems Ebola survivors are now faced with, post recovery, and will help find medical solutions to their problems.
Disclosing this to the media at the headquarters of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace, Dr. Mosoka Fallah, Principal Co-Investigator on the Ebola Natural History Study, said Ebola survivors are facing problems with their vision and other illnesses.
According to him, the study will target 7,500 volunteers out of which 1,500 will be survivors, and the rest would be people who are their close contacts, including sexual partners.
Dr. Fallah said as part of the study, participants would be questioned about their health and they would receive a physical exam by a study physician. He stated that vision screening would be done and their blood samples would be sent for laboratory analysis. He also stated that the participants will be asked to come back every six months for up to five years for check-ups.
He urged Liberians to join the process which stands to benefit many survivors and provide free medication to protect against the Ebola virus.
Cultural Ambassador and the Co-lead for Social Mobilization and Community Engagement on the Ebola Natural History Study, Madam Juli Endee, disclosed that the centers for the study will include the JFK Medical Center and Redemption Hospital, among others. She stated that all examinations for participants will be free of charge.
She said the process is voluntary but participants will receive transportation reimbursement.
She also said the study is welcomed by Ebola survivors who intimated that they look forward to benefit from the post-Ebola health care.
Ambassador Endee mentioned New Kru Town, Chicken Soup Factory, and other former hot spots during Ebola crisis as communities that will be targeted for the enrolment.