Social Mobilization for Ebola Virus Clinical Trials During a Public Health Crisis in Liberia
- Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 15, Issue 3, Fall 2021
- pp. 337-347
- Additional Information
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Background: At the invitation of the Liberia Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (LMOHSW), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services joined the LMOHSW in establishing the Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia (PREVAIL) to develop treatment and prevention strategies for Ebola virus disease (EVD). Social mobilization was a vital element of PREVAIL in a country with limited history of clinical research.
Objectives: To innovate a social mobilization program for clinical trials during the Liberian EVD outbreak.
Methods: PREVAIL’s social mobilization included 1) advocacy for support from leaders, 2) engagement with communities to build trust, and 3) collaboration with media for quality communications.
Lessons Learned and Conclusions: Social mobilization can support clinical trials. Trusted leaders and peer to peer communication are essential for sharing reliable information and countering mistrust. Real time monitoring of media can inform timely, specific messaging. Expert evaluation resources are essential for evidence-based effectiveness assessments.