Pre-positioned Outbreak Research: The Joint Medical Emerging Diseases Intervention Clinical Capability Experience in Uganda

Karen A. Martins*, Rodgers R. Ayebare, Nahid Bhadelia, Francis Kiweewa, Peter Waitt, Derrick Mimbe, Stephen Okello, Prossy Naluyima, David M. Brett-Major, James V. Lawler, Monica Millard, Richard Walwema, Anthony P. Cardile, Chi Ritchie, Antonia Kwiecien, Helen Badu, Benjamin J. Espinosa, Charmagne Beckett, Sina Bavari, Saima ZamanGeorge Christopher, Danielle V. Clark, Mohammed Lamorde, Hannah Kibuuka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The West Africa Ebola virus disease outbreak of 2014-2016 demonstrated that responses to viral hemorrhagic fever epidemics must go beyond emergency stopgap measures and should incorporate high-quality medical care and clinical research. Optimal patient management is essential to improving outcomes, and it must be implemented regardless of geographical location or patient socioeconomic status. Coupling clinical research with improved care has a significant added benefit: Improved data quality and management can guide the development of more effective supportive care algorithms and can support regulatory approvals of investigational medical countermeasures (MCMs), which can alter the cycle of emergency response to reemerging pathogens. However, executing clinical research during outbreaks of high-consequence pathogens is complicated and comes with ethical and research regulatory challenges. Aggressive care and excellent quality control must be balanced by the requirements of an appropriate infection prevention and control posture for healthcare workers and by overcoming the resource limitations inherent in many outbreak settings. The Joint Mobile Emerging Disease Intervention Clinical Capability was established in 2015 to develop a high-quality clinical trial capability in Uganda to support rigorous evaluation of MCMs targeting high-consequence pathogens like Ebola virus. This capability assembles clinicians, laboratorians, clinical researchers, logisticians, and regulatory professionals trained in infection prevention and control and in good clinical and good clinical laboratory practices. The resulting team is prepared to provide high-quality medical care and clinical research during high-consequence outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-124
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Security
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Infectious diseases
  • Medical countermeasures
  • Outbreak response
  • Uganda
  • Viral hemorrhagic fevers


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