Research and development of preventive and therapeutic interventions for emerging pathogens have been difficult to maintain in the past once outbreaks come to an end.
In Liberia, much of the research on Ebola ended when the outbreak faded in 2016 even though sustained funding could have led to further the development of vaccine candidates and other therapies for Ebola. One major challenge is to maintain the continuum of studies and the preparedness of research sites, including infrastructure and staff capacities, for future clinical studies that can lead to an effective vaccine and/or treatment against prevalent infectious diseases in West Africa.
However, a robust social science and policy research capacity in Africa is essential to rigorous basic and applied research in the quest for solutions to the region’s development challenges.
Recognizing this value, IGORCADIA project, funded by the European Developed Countries for Clinical Trials Partnership – EDCTP – developed a training program in diagnostic research guided by the Global Health Institute of Barcelona Department of Training and Education.
The activity: “Training Program on Diagnostics Research” developed has aimed to plan, design, organize and implement a combined distant and presential training programs in fundaments, planning and conducting quantitative and qualitative research on novel diagnostics for poverty-related infectious diseases with epidemic potential.
Moreover, trainees from the Saint Joseph’s Catholic Hospital (SJCH) and Liberian Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) have attended a set of five three-day hands-on workshops. The training sessions were developed in the SJCH and they also include validation of new diagnostic tests in reference to the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) guidelines:
“Quantitative Approaches in Diagnostics Research”;” Good Clinical and Laboratory Practice”; “Fundaments of Health Research and Medical Ethics”; “Qualitative Diagnostics Research” and “Writing, Dissemination and Exploitation of Diagnostics Research”
Lastly, members of the MoH-NREB and UL-PIRE were also invited as co-facilitators to the workshop on Fundaments of Health Research and Medical Ethics.
Workshop participants & facilitators and IGORCADIA stakeholders were invited to an emotive graduation ceremony last August 23rd 2019.
The participation of some Liberian health institutions: Minister of Health representative, National Public Health Institute, national Regulatory Ethical Boards and the Malaria National Control Program was an honour for the project team.
Special gratitude to Brother Peter Lansana Dawoh, SJCH Hospital Director, for his unconditional support, generous welcome and active participation during the IGORCADIA activity, “Training program on Diagnostics Research”.