Feb 2016 - July 2017
What is SELeCT?
The project ‘Strengthening Laboratory Capacities in the St Joseph’s Catholic Hospital (Monrovia, Liberia) for Clinical Trials on infectious diseases’ (SELeCT) aims at building institutional capacities to conduct biomedical research and clinical trials between and during infectious disease outbreaks. The project site is the Saint Joseph’s Catholic Hospital, a non-governmental organization dedicated to providing primary healthcare to the population of Monrovia.
The SELeCT project will increase health system preparedness and community engagement in research and development activities by improving health research capacity and community trust. This project will strengthen national and individual capacities through training and capacity building and will serve to prepare the field for future clinical trials.
The specific objectives of this project are: to train hospital personnel on clinical trial conduct; to upgrade laboratory infrastructure and capacities to guarantee performance of basic analytical techniques, as well as correct handling and shipping of samples in an emergency context; and to implement practices for building community engagement in clinical trials.
To achieve these objectives, the clinical and laboratory staff of Saint Joseph’s Catholic Hospital will receive training for the implementation of clinical trials through a hybrid approach consisting of one presence-based training workshop on Good Clinical and Laboratory Practice standards; one workshop for the preparation of Standard Operating Procedures documents; and an eLearning programme. Additionally, community engagement and communication activities will be performed to raise awareness among community leaders, traditional healers and different community members on the scientific and ethical issues of clinical trials and biomedical research at large.
The expected result of the SELeCT project will be the upgrading of the Saint Joseph’s Catholic Hospital’s laboratory infrastructure and the establishment and proper functioning of a Clinical Trial Unit that will consist of five Operative Units (Administration and development; Clinical research and pharmacy; Laboratory research; Data management; Community education and involvement). Through this Clinical Trial Unit, St Joseph’s Catholic Hospital will have the capacities to undertake clinical trials in the future. Community leaders and representatives of local non-governmental organizations, also trained in Good Clinical Practices in the frame of this project, will be invited to become members to the St Joseph’s Clinical Trial Unit Community Advisory Board in order to serve as a bridge between the hospital and the population.
Within this project, the training, networking and community involvement strategies will not only build new capacities for the implementation of clinical trials but will also strengthen existing diagnosis and treatment capacities at the Saint Joseph’s Catholic Hospital. Importantly, given that this hospital is primarily dedicated to maternal and infant health, these strategies will benefit particularly these vulnerable groups. In addition, this will be an important asset for clinical trials on potential Ebola treatments or vaccines, since Ebola viral disease has been shown to have a much higher case fatality rate in pregnant women and their newborns. Finally, to sustain knowledge acquired during this project, Saint Joseph’s Catholic Hospital and ISGlobal will strengthen long-term research relationships for future joint projects building on the ample experience of ISGlobal in clinical research in fields such as maternal, child and reproductive health, malaria elimination and antibiotic resistance.
February 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017
European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), WHO special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO TDR)
ISGlobal, Barcelona (coordinator); St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital of Monrovia, Liberia; and Fundación Juan Ciudad, Madrid.