The Wellcome Trust and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) have awarded a substantial grant to Dr John Amuasi from the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine to fund the ALERRT COVID-19 Clinical Characterisation Protocol (CCP).
As part of the response to the emergence of COVID-19, the World Health Organization Africa Regional Office (WHO/AFRO) is organising various infection, prevention and control (IPC) and critical care training activities targeted at low- and middle-income countries in Africa.
While the initiatives taken by the WHO/AFRO are critical, training for research into the disease also needs to be targeted at the same low- and-middle income countries. It’s an emerging infectious disease and we need to learn as we go.
Clinical research on COVID-19 needs to be closely integrated with the IPC, clinical care and epidemiological training activities, including use of the WHO First Few X cases (FFX) and contact investigation protocol for COVID-19. We propose to work closely with the WHO/AFRO, Africa CDC and existing networks and structures across Africa and globally to provide this clinical research training and support.
ALERRT is a member of the ISARIC Network, which has developed a clinical characterisation protocol for COVID-19. This protocol has been endorsed by the WHO and is currently being used in China and across Europe. The ALERRT network is already established and conducting activities in sub-Sahara Africa, so it has the capacity to effectively implement the proposed project.