EIDB partners with military and government partners in Ghana through the Joint West Africa Research Group (JWARG) to develop a network of infectious disease research capability in the region. The joint initiative conducts protocol EID005, a study of suspected severe infectious disease, alongside partners at the 37 Military Hospital, with laboratory support from Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR).
Research Facilities and Partners
The 37th Military Hospital in Accra is largest military hospital in Ghana, and was constructed by the Allies during the Second World War. The hospital is primarily staffed by military personnel but over 75% of the patients it serves are civilian. The hospital has an inpatient capacity of 400 beds as well as multiple outpatient departments. A containerized laboratory unit was commissioned in April 2018 to bring advanced diagnostic and research techniques to the facility, and a permanent laboratory structure is planned for the future.
NMRMI is the most sophisticated laboratory in all of Ghana with departmental expertise in virology, immunology, bacteriology, epidemiology, parasitology, and nutrition. With a biosafety level-3 laboratory, it is the public health reference laboratory that works closely with the Ghana Health Services to detect pathogens in unknown samples from patients suspected of viral hemorrhagic fever and other reportable illness. The capacity within each laboratory varies but a collegial atmosphere allows for the sharing of a variety of equipment, including conventional and real time PCR, flow cytometry, ELISA, and next generation sequencing.
Made possible by the Global Health Engagement Research Initiative at the Center for Global Health Engagement, Uniformed Services University, the JWARG study of severe infectious disease will soon expand into Navrongo, Ghana.
The new project is called the Navrongo Integrated Surveillance Project (NISP), because it combines RV466 with community investigations including entomologic surveillance, xenosurveillance, STEM engagements and ethnographic surveys.
With rigorous and standardized metadata collection connecting human febrile illness with community biogeography, NISP aims to improve modeling of health risks. NISP is a unique project because it’s not just detecting pathogens in clinical samples; it’s integrating community engagement to understand behaviors and ecology that expose groups to illnesses