WHO accelerates Ebola treatment effort with clinical trial guidelines

The World Health Organization (WHO) is often looked to for assistance in international disease management campaigns. They are responsible for communicating proper protocol for research, treatment, vaccination, and prevention efforts for the international community

While places like Western and Central Africa are not equipped to handle Ebola management in their current state of development, the WHO is providing key insight in treatment research effort
Earlier today, the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee on Ebola Experimental Interventions released its guidelines for clinical trials involving any type of Ebola treatment. Before a drug or treatment package can be made available for widespread use in the infected population it must be put through clinical trials, or pilot studies, to determine whether or not the intervention is effective, efficacious, and does not have harmful side effects
The two main overseeing concepts that the WHO introduced are standardized care and uniform data collection. Because Ebola is such a volatile virus with a rapid mutation progression, every case is different. If different patients are being put through different care pathways, it is way more difficult to determine how treatment interventions are working and whether or not they are helping the population overall
The WHO claimed that it has received roughly 120 intervention proposals, with only six to eight slots for a sponsored clinical trial. This may seem inefficient, but the only way that Ebola experts will be able to work towards an effective solution is with standardized care
The second main concept, uniform data collection, will help the WHO with reporting efforts and ensure that all of the data being used in any clinical trial is collected in the same process, the same statistical databases are used for each trial, and that analytical methods be confined to guidelines of the WHO-sponsored clinical trials. Blood and plasma analysis is ready to begin in Sierra Leone and Guinea but effective interpretation of the data cannot occur without a collective effort to maintain the same data collection processes
Geographic and environmental factors play an enormous role in Ebola care delivery and with clinical trials incorporating both standardized care and uniform data collection, a treatment package will be reached much sooner. It is important to understand that with a virus that is transmitted as rapidly as Ebola, time is of the essence in terms of case identification and research on potential drug remedies. These guidelines will address concerns in both of these areas in Ebola research and care delivery
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