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UK Launches £6.5m Ebola Research Fund

Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the Wellcome Trust on Thursday in London launched a £6.5 million appeal fund for research on combating the Ebola virus.

Justine Greening, International Development Secretary, challenged experts worldwide to come forward urgently with research proposals leading to more effective ways of managing the current outbreak.

He said Ebola outbreak was the worst on record, and controlling the future outbreak of the deadly virus had become imperative.

“We are launching an emergency call for research to strengthen what we know about Ebola and how it spreads”, he said.

Jeremy Farrar, Wellcome Trust’s Director said the Ebola epidemic in West Africa demands an urgent response before it ravaged the region.

He said the two organisers believed that rapid research into humanitarian interventions and therapeutics can have an impact on treatment and containment during the present outbreak.

Farrar said “what we learn could also change the way we approach future outbreaks, providing us with tested tools and techniques that were not available to public health authorities this time.”

He said the research initiative was jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s largest medical charities, and DfiD and that the projects would be managed by Enhancing Learning & Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA).

Farrar said funding would be awarded to teams that provide strong evidence and analysis on the disease in areas including anthropology, diagnosis, control and prevention, social mobilisation and treatment.

He said proposals would be reviewed immediately, and research projects that are approved would begin as soon as possible.

Source - Vanguard

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