EIDB partners with military and government partners in Liberia through the Joint West Africa Research Group (JWARG) to strengthen infectious disease research capability in the region.
JWARG works with the Armed Forces of Liberia and its Camp Edward Binyah Kesselly (EBK) Clinic, along with the National Public Health Institute of Liberia to conduct a multi-site study of severe infectious diseases. This study, called EID005, is led by EIDB and aims to generate data on circulating infectious disease threats in the region and inform countermeasure development.
Through JWARG, EIDB has worked to develop Camp EBK’s clinical and laboratory staff through multiple trainings offered in West Africa and the US. These trainings, along with EIDB’s EID005 study, are aimed at improving the staff’s ability to conduct research and respond to potential outbreaks, while strengthening the Mil-Mil relationship.
In addition to developing the staff’s ability to conduct clinical research, JWARG has also improved clinic and laboratory capabilities through physical renovation and equipment procurement. JWARG collaborated with The Michigan National Guard, Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) and the Liberian Ministry of Defense, to renovate and equip the only laboratory space at Camp EBK successfully activated the EID005 study in April 2018 and it is ongoing.
The Liberia Institute for Biomedical Research (LIBR), now the recently established National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), was created as a result of the unprecedented Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa and is the primary research institute for Liberia. NPHIL/LIBR is the central implementing partner for JWARG research programs, including serving as the EID005 reference laboratory.
NPHIL collaborates with several U.S. research partners, including NAMRU-3 and NIH-NIAID. It is currently host to the main research laboratory operations for NIAID’s PREVAIL studies of Ebola virus disease survivors and NAMRU-3 Ghana Detachment vector surveillance research, JWARG research laboratory assets, and Liberia’s only sequencing capability. NPHIL/LIBR has satellite laboratories that act as the de facto laboratories for advanced diagnostics for the entire country.