Monrovia – The Liberia-US Joint Clinical Research Partnership otherwise known as the Partnership for Research on the Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia (PREVAIL) which was launched in June 2015 in the country has yielded tremendous results as efforts continuous to speedily address gaps that could delay the Research.
It was against this backdrop PREVAIL’s Lead Community Engagement pilot led by the Executive Director of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP) Amb. Juli Endee and the Social Mobilization arm led by Mr. Bartholomew Wilson have jointly embarked on community engagement meeting/awareness with community, religious, traditional, youth leaders as well as Ebola Survivors across the country.
One of such gathering was held April 12, 2016 at the Administration Building in Kakata, Margibi County with stakeholders mentioned above at which time PREVAIL authorities revealed that while 1084 Ebola Survivors out of the targeted 1,500 have enrolled in the Medical Study, only 1,663 of their close contacts have so far enrolled in the medical Study. The Medical Research targets 6000 close contacts of Ebola Survivors for enrollment.
Mr. Wilson, presenting an update of the Research to an audience numbering over one hundred said, while PREVAIL was pleased with the up-to-date enrollment of Ebola Survivors with just 416 remaining to complete the targeted 1,500, more effort needed to be exerted to attract close contacts of Ebola Survivors in the Study, as a gap of 4337 persons current exist since only 1663 out of the targeted 6000 close contacts have so for enrolled in the Study.
Close contact of Ebola Survivors are people who provided care in many aspects to Ebola Survivors during the period of their (Ebola Survivors) illness there-by coming into physical contact with them. These include relatives, health givers, intimate/sexual partners and at times community trackers/volunteers.
Mr. Wilson also disclosed that during the period of enrollment, PREVAIL also conducted four sub-studies on Ebola Survivors which include the Birth Cohort, Eyes, hypotension/heart-blood pressure and Semen test for also Sexually Transmitted Disease adding that, some Ebola Survivors were diagnosed of these medical complications while others were diagnosed of minor sickness like diabetes and were all treated free of charge at government medical facilities.
Speaking Earlier, on behalf of the Executive Director of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP), the Administrator of the LCP, Madam Yah Bryant emphasized that the renewed community engagement and awareness campaign also referred to as ‘contact of contact’ is aimed at sensitizing Ebola Survivors who already enrolled in the Medical Study to identify and encourage their close contacts to also enroll in the Study.
She noted that close contacts are pivotal to the success of the Medical Research and that Mobilizers and communicators of PREVAIL should intensify awareness in communities to attract close contacts into the Medical Study.
For his part, the President of the Ebola Survivors Network of Liberia Mr. Patrick Farley told fellow Survivors that his leadership which currently has branches in ten of the fifteen Counties has secured four pilot programs/activities to improve their welfare.
He named them as clinical care, food and supply nutrition, initiative to provide social mobilization for Survivors and a policy document that would prohibit discrimination of Ebola Survivors at medical centers.