Improving clinical research for epidemic infections in sub-Saharan Africa
“Given the sudden onset, unforeseeable nature and duration of most outbreaks, it is particularly challenging to conduct medical research during outbreaks,” said Augustin Augier, ALIMA’s secretary general. “To finally be able to better understand these diseases and improve patient care, ALIMA and the consortium aim to develop the tools needed to start such research, while maintaining the highest ethical standards and involving the community.”
ALIMA, a medical humanitarian organisation that aims to improve humanitarian medicine through its research and innovation, is the sole NGO representative within the ALERRT consortium, and will work alongside 20 partners, including the University of Oxford, PAC-CI, the Institut Pasteur, and Inserm, to respond quickly to outbreaks, while conducting patient-centered clinical research on epidemic-prone infectious diseases across the African continent.
As part of its first project, ALERRT launched its research response mode in Nigeria, where there is an ongoing outbreak of Lassa fever. In partnership with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, ALERRT aims to improve patient survival by collecting clinical and laboratory data from patients with severe forms of the disease, and also lay the groundwork for future clinical trials of new vaccines and treatments.
“The ultimate goal of this network is to develop patient-centered medical research that will allow us to greatly improve the level of care we can provide and bring medical innovation into humanitarian crises, where it is most needed,” said Dr. Marie Jaspard, ALIMA’s coordinator for the ALERRT project.
Read more about ALERRT here: http://www.alerrt.global/
ALIMA (The Alliance For International Medical Action) is a medical humanitarian organization that aims to provide assistance to populations in emergency situations, such as epidemics, conflicts or natural disasters. Based in Dakar, Senegal, ALIMA has treated more than 2 million patients in 12 countries since its creation in 2009 and launched 10 research projects focused on malnutrition, malaria and Ebola.
ALIMA has extensive experience responding to outbreaks, including Ebola in Guinea, Rift Valley Fever in Niger, Lassa fever in Togo and Nigeria, cholera in Nigeria and DRC, and Dengue fever in Burkina Faso.
Photo: Etinosa Yvonne / ALIMA