Dr. Golakai Decries Discrepancies in Ebola Research

first_imgDr. Vuyu Kanda Golakai, Dean of the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, Liberia’s medical school, stunned a gathering of medical professionals in Monrovia on Tuesday when he confronted the gathering with what he described as gaps in the conduct of Ebola vaccine research in Liberia. These gaps, according to him, are a result of deviations from standard scientific research norms and suggest a one-sided agenda on the part of international partners. At the opening of a workshop earlier this week for the Committee on Clinical Trials of Ebola, which brought together medical doctors and public health professionals from the three affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia; as well as from the United States and elsewhere, Dr. Golakai said the first gap is a knowledge gap between research partners.He said although no one can oppose research as a priority, there is the need to review and scrutinize the conduct of research in Liberia and Africa. With specific regard to the EVD outbreak, he highlighted among other issues, gaps in requisite knowledge of emergency situations; lack of an action plan or research protocols to follow; gaps in the equity of the partnership, as well as the question of who benefits or suffers from the use of misuse of research data. Addressing primarily the western medical experts present, Dr. Golakai saw these and other gaps in the Ebola-related research in Liberia as serious deviations from standard scientific research norms and protocols, especially on the part of the international partners. When compared with research in other African countries, he said, Liberia gets no equity or equality in the so-called research partnership. Thus, he wondered, whose agenda does said research serve; and whose future does emergency response research serve? He believes that narrowing the basic information gap requires teamwork. Also, a firm commitment to growth and development of research institutions in the country will benefit all participants. On this note, he drew comparison between the well-established Harvard Research Center in Botswana and abandoned chimpanzees on the islands off Charlesville, Margibi County, Liberia; or the Baylor Center of Excellence for HIV-afflicted children (also in Botswana), versus the temporary Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Liberia, for example. He also emphasized that mutual respect, with justice and fairness will render everyone as winners. Dr. Golakai argued that the process leading to the post-Ebola research in Liberia was endorsed by “the highest authorities in the land” without the input of the local research board, which he said was not right. “By the time they came to the research Board,” Dr. Golakai lamented, “our hands were tied, our mouths were gagged. We could not embarrass our government. We had to go along. That is not right,” he insisted, adding that “What has to do with scientific studies is organized by scientists and taken to the authority of the state, but the clinical trial came from the Head of State which is not right,” he charged.Dr. Golakai also questioned the motive of the international partners to test the Z-Mapp vaccine in Liberia, when it had been in existence for five years before the outbreak the sub-region. “Why try the vaccine here and not in the United States where the Z-Map had been in existence for five years prior to Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea,” he questioned.“We also know that since 1976, with the first outbreak, the efficacy of convalescent serum was known. Why did they not prioritize that? The reason is simple. The Western researchers have never accepted it because that was proven by an African.” Golakai further argued that PREVAIL’s clinical trials units are established in tertiary education hospitals, while priorities are not set by mutual discussion and consent. He explained that Prevail has taken up two floors of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, creating a severe shortage of space for patients the hospital should otherwise be serving. According to him, in the midst of the knowledge gap existing between partners, the gap is still ignored.Dr. Golakai also observed that it was strange for a bat allegedly carrying the Ebola virus, which was discovered in southern Africa, to mysteriously travel all the way to the three affected countries in the Mano River basin only to infect a little boy in the forest of Guinea, known as “Patient Zero”.“How long did the bats fly covering thousands of miles to reach here with Ebola from Southern Africa,” he wondered. “As a scientist, I find that very hard to swallow.” Dr. Golakai said since he observed these gaps in the research setting, he immediately exempted himself from the activities and has always remained neutral. “In democratic settings, decisions are derived by a majority, but sometimes there is a majority of one, if truth, equity and sincerity are on his side,” he said. “Research in America and abroad is not the same, and has not been conducted in the same manner as research in Africa. You do not work with us, you do not consult with us, to set the agenda. You bring the agenda and tell us that we must follow. For example, we are talking about prioritization of research, post-Ebola and post-epidemic. Did you consult with us to call this conference? No. You set the agenda, that now we must forget malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and all the other serious epidemics that we have and concentrate on Ebola. Why? Because I suspect it is your agenda, not ours. “At JFK, two floors have been taken over by PREVAIL. We cannot treat our patients. When this conference is over, we wish to ask PREVAIL to relocate. Otherwise, we shall seek redress outside of the scientific forum. Mutual respect must be there. When you came, you never visited the Medical School. In fact, as far as you are concerned, there may be no medical school; or the medical school is not worthy of your consideration.” Dr. Golakai is professor, college of Health & Life Sciences at the University of Liberia. Since January 2011, he has served as Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Liberia and Dean of the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine. He has wide international experience in Healthcare System DevelopmentWork Experience and Health Education and Training, both at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Responding to Dr. Golakai’s remarks, Dr. Gerald Keusch, Co-Chair of the Committee on Clinical Trials, said that the Committee’s work is sponsored by the United States Government, although the Committe itself is functionally autonomous. “The sponsors of this study providing the resources for us to spend time to gather information are three components of the U.S. Government,” Dr. Keusch said. “Therefore, our report goes first to the sponsoring agencies. But we are totally independent and autonomous in the way we function. In fact, since the first time that we met as a committee, and met with the leadership of the sponsoring agencies, the only time that we have engaged with them has been in an open, on the record meeting. All of our deliberations in closed session, exclude them. We are autonomous and able to think about the issues to the clearest extent that we are able. “The committee has broad expertise; it is from the U.S., from Europe and from several countries in Africa. And our job is to assess what happened, and make sure that the preparation for the next — whatever it is going to be — that we are in a better position to act, particularly in the context of such an urgent and devastating outbreak.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgRangers beat St Johnstone to move top of the Scottish Premier League with Celtic inactive until Wednesday.The visitors went ahead in the 20th minute when Kyle Laffetry punished Danny Grainger’s mistake with a composed finish. Saints pressed hard after the break and Kevin Moon and Murray Davidson forced Allan McGregor to make vital saves.But Steven Naismith ended the home side’s hopes of a comeback, the forward finishing well with his left foot. The Ibrox side now hold a one-point lead over their Old Firm rivals, who will return to the top of the division if they draw or win against Hibernian on Wednesday, Celtic boasting a superior goal difference. RANGERS GO TOP AFTER WIN OVER ST JOHNSTON was last modified: April 5th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgRosses ACThere will be a 5k on Friday 17th August at 7pm in aid of the North West Cancer Group Family and Patient Fund taking place at Carrickfinn Airport. More details next week. Training for underage has pretty much taken a break now until next month when the cross country will begin again. It is hoped to also begin senior training for cross country. Thanks to all who helped with bag pack and got involved in the parade.ATHLETICS NEWS: ROSSES AC NOTES was last modified: August 7th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Rosses AC noteslast_img read more


first_imgThe Donegal Team and Management will be honoured at a civic reception in the County House Lifford tonight (FRI) at 8.30pm.The honour is in recognition of their achievements including winning the Ulster Championship back to back in 2011 and 2012 and the 2012 all-Ireland final in Croke Park last September.This Civic Reception is being hosted by the Mayor Cllr. Frank McBrearty Jnr and by the members of Donegal County Council. The Mayor, elected members and staff of the Council will be joined by the Donegal Team, their management and invited guests, including two children from each of the local schools in the area, at this special event that will recognise the wonderful achievements of this team both on and off the field.Mayor of Donegal, Cllr. Frank McBrearty is delighted to be in a position to host this event saying “This team brought the Sam Maguire Cup back to Donegal and this has had a remarkable impact on the people of Donegal both at home and abroad. Since winning the all Ireland final in September 2012 this team has been wonderful ambassadors for the county.“They have visited towns and villages the width and breadth of the county and have taken the Sam Maguire Cup to many places overseas ensuring that Donegal people both at home and abroad have had an opportunity to share with them in the joy of winning the all Ireland final”.He added “Winning the Ulster Championship back to back in 2011 and 2012 and going on to win the all Ireland in 2012 is a wonderful achievement and demonstrates the strength, determination and resilience of not only each player but of the hard work and dedication of the management and back room staff. This team is a great role model for all of us and especially for our children and young people. This Civic Reception is being hosted to recognise not only the teams achievement but also the great joy and inspiration that they have brought to the county.” Each player and member of the management team will receive a set of hand made silver cufflinks designed and made by well known, Donegal based jewellery designer Niall Bruton.The team and management will also be presented with a special scroll marking the occasion of this Civic reception.  CIVIC RECEPTION FOR DONEGAL’S ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS TONIGHT was last modified: February 15th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:civic recptiondonegalMayor Frank McBreartylast_img read more


first_imgCATHAL Mac Suibhne’s Donegal GAA Blog: Dún na nGall Kings Defeat Students From QueensAnother win recorded for Donegal tonight in Ballybofey against Queens University and whatever about the epitaphs of this year’s McKenna Cup as regards qualification and the blooding of players, Jim McGuinness can look back on a tournament where he’s trebled his win rate. He again picked a strong side for this encounter with the Belfast students; the Neils, McGee and Gallagher, in from the start after seeing second half action in Armagh on Sunday.The team knew a big score was essential if they were to have any chance of a semi-final spot and Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden didn’t waste time in getting scores on the board. Donegal ran incessantly at the Queens defence and drew plenty of frees in the process. It can be taken for granted at times but it is such a huge advantage the team possesses in having two of the games deadliest free-takers; and better again having one on either side of the field.The hosts registered 1-7 in the first half including another thunderbolt of a goal from Murphy, this time from even further out than his effort against Tyrone in O’Donnell Park. The students managed to net two goals in the opening period and that is something that won’t please McGuinness or indeed Damian Diver, who was brought on board this year for his expertise in defence. Moments into the second half Ryan Rafferty bagged his third goal of the night for the visitors.It became fairly clear early on that Monaghan were going to have things much their own way against Fermanagh and in turn pip Donegal to the best runner-up spot – Tyrone, Derry and Cavan all qualified safely as group winners.Jim again used his bench at half time with Rory Kavanagh, David Walsh and the returning Christy Toye entering the fray; Christy hadn’t pulled on a Donegal jersey since that wonderful day sixteen months ago in the All-Ireland Final. He also endured a long spell away from the action from 2009 to 2011 with an Achilles problem so unfortunately the St Michael’s man is no stranger to long injury lay-offs; hopefully he’ll get a good run at training over the next few months as he always does a job for his side and is a key member of the squad. Murphy got things going again for his team after the resumption, this time a point off his ‘weaker’ left foot – that is if there is anything weak in his repertoire. This of course was Michael’s first McKenna Cup campaign for Donegal in a number of years having previously been tied to playing with his college, DCU. He looks as sharp as ever and if he can keep this form and fitness up it should be another big year for the maestro.Stephen McLaughlin saw some more action tonight after making a brief cameo at the Atheltic Grounds at the weekend and he got his name on the score sheet with a point midway through the second period. That just leaves Kilybegs’ Hugh McFadden as the last of newcomers to the panel who has yet to see some action so expect him to be given a run at some stage in league.The black card was much talked about prior to the McKenna Cup but it didn’t have as big an impact as many had anticipated; it did rear its head more conspicuously in tonight’s game though with students receiving their marching orders and having to be replaced.Donegal made a good fist of things in the second half as regards racking up a high score, finishing with 3-17; with Monaghan though posting 2-20 in Brewster Park and having a superior points difference coming into tonight, they were always in the driving seat and they go on to meet Cavan this weekend; Tyrone and Derry make up the semi-final quartet.The one worry on the night was a knock picked up by Rory Kavanagh; we don’t have the strongest of panels but this is especially true around midfield – Kavanagh and Gallagher fully fit are a must for Donegal so that will certainly be a headache for the management team if it turns out to be anything more than just a knock. So pre-season is done with and next up its National League and O’Moore Park in Portlaoise is the first port of call for green and gold supporters. In theory at least the players should hit the ground running in the league and be well in contention having got some game time into the legs in the last ten days. While undoubtedly Division One is a higher standard, once you go beneath the top three or four teams the rest are on a par with those in the second tier so there’s no such thing as easy games.Winning the league is a realistic target for McGuinness but it will be anything but straight forward. It worked well in 2011, when we last played in Division Two, losing just one game out of eight and getting better and better as the Championship went on after that. There’ll be no such luxuries available this year – Derry in Celtic Park in our Ulster Championship opener will be a huge challenge and the team must be firing on all cylinders for that.That tough fixture makes the league even more important; despite getting relegated with the draw against eventual All-Ireland winners Dublin in the last game last season, McGuinness’ men played well that day and it set them up for the battle against Tyrone a few weeks later; and no doubt Jim will be hoping that an appearance on league final day in Croke Park in April could set the boys up nicely for Derry.CATHAL’S GAA BLOG: DONEGAL KINGS DEFEAT STUDENTS FROM QUEEN’S was last modified: January 16th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CATHAL’S GAA BLOG: DONEGAL KINGS DEFEAT STUDENTS FROM QUEEN’Slast_img read more