Infectious diseases are a constant threat to military personnel and civilians. In regions like West Africa, where outbreaks can spread widely and rapidly, clinical and research capabilities are critical to detect and respond to current and emergent pathogens.
In light of lessons learned from the West Africa Ebola outbreak, in 2015 the U.S. Department of Defense supported a strategic Army-Navy initiative called the Joint West Africa Research Group (JWARG).
Since then, JWARG has worked to leverage existing research platforms and partnerships in Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia to improve biopreparedness in West Africa, focusing on infectious disease research, countermeasure product development and biosurveillance.
Infectious Diseases Research
JWARG activities center on infectious disease research relevant to the West Africa region. EIDB leads several studies in the region on Lassa fever and severe infectious diseases, and has conducted education and training for scientific and medical personnel including Good Clinical and Laboratory Practices, and malaria and mpox diagnostics.
JWARG aims to strengthen research capabilities in the region to learn more about emerging pathogens and contribute to development of improved diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, which in turn support U.S. DoD goals in pursuit of global health security, Soldier health and force protection.