Ebola outbreak

The Wellcome Trust and the Department for International Development (DFID) have launched a new research initiative to restrict the spread of Ebola, which has claimed the lives of approximately 1,200 people in West Africa.

Conducted as part of a £6.5m research initiative, expert teams from different parts of the world are being invited to submit research proposals to combat the outbreak.

Funding will be provided through the initiative, which is jointly funded by the DFID and the Wellcome Trust. It will be managed by Enhancing Learning & Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA).

DFID secretary Justine Greening said: "We are launching an emergency call for research to strengthen what we know about Ebola and how it spreads.

"This will help us better equip those working on the ground so they can tackle the outbreak as effectively as possible and prevent more people contracting this terrible disease."

"We are launching an emergency call for research to strengthen what we know about Ebola and how it spreads."

Wellcome Trust director Dr Jeremy Farrar added: "The gravity of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa demands an urgent response, and we believe rapid research into humanitarian interventions and therapeutics can have an impact on treatment and containment during the present outbreak."

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Funding from the Research for Health in Humanitarian Crisis will be provided for researchers who can provide strong evidence and analysis on the disease in areas including anthropology, clinical management, diagnosis, disease control and prevention, ethics, health systems, social mobilisation, surveillance and treatment.

In order to help tackle the current outbreak, the research proposals will be reviewed immediately.

Image: The research initiative has been launched in the UK to combat the Ebola outbreak. Photo: courtesy of the Crown.