A multi-million-pound emergency funding package for research that could help to contain the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and future outbreaks of infectious disease was announced on August 20, 2014, by the Wellcome Trust. Wellcome Trust also announced the establishment of a strategic partnership with the Dangote Foundation, an African-based international philanthropic organisation, to support further Ebola research. The emergency Ebola initiative, which includes contributions from partner funders, will support research that can swiftly begin to investigate new approaches to treating, preventing and containing the disease, during the current epidemic in West Africa. It will also support research into the ethical challenges of testing experimental medicines during epidemics.
Its goals are to identify clinical and public health interventions, including drugs and vaccines, with the potential to contribute to tackling the present crisis in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, and to inform the way in which future epidemics of Ebola and other infectious diseases are handled and controlled. In its effortsof funding emergency Ebola research, the Wellcome Trust, the world’s second-highest-spending charitable foundation, is making a further long-term commitment to African health through a £40million programme of support for excellence in African research. The investment, which marks a step change in the Trust’s activity in Africa, will support the continent to develop a world-class medical research base so it is better equipped to investigate and tackle its greatest health challenges
Dr. Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: “The Wellcome Trust is investing today in a package of research that can make a difference to Africa in the short, the medium and the long term. Measures to contain, treat and prevent diseases such as Ebola can be evaluated only in the context of epidemics like this one, which is why support for research is needed immediately.