International Development Research Centre (IDRC)The WHO receives a grant from three Canadian funding agencies
The World Health Organization (WHO) has received a grant of CA$4.85M from three Canadian funding agencies: the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). This grant is in response to the 2022 Ebola outbreak in Uganda. There is no known treatment or vaccine for the Sudan strain of Ebola that caused the outbreak. The outbreak resulted in 164 cases and 77 deaths. However, with the support of the WHO and other partners, Uganda was able to successfully control the outbreak. It was officially declared over on January 11, 2023.
The WHO, IDRC, CIHR, and PHAC recognize that more can be done to save lives in the event of future outbreaks. This grant will help to facilitate the incorporation of research and development into the initial response to outbreaks, ensuring access to life-saving medical countermeasures in Uganda and two neighboring countries: Rwanda and Tanzania.
Specifically, the grant will be used to conduct a multistage and multiple-arm randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial to assess the safety and immunogenicity of three candidate vaccines: cAd3 from Sabine Institute, USA, chAdOx1 from Oxford University UK, and rVSV-SUDV from Merck/International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). These candidate vaccines were recommended for clinical studies by an independent vaccine prioritization committee convened by the WHO in November 2022.
The study is anticipated to span 24 months and involve approximately 6,000 participants. A Data Safety Monitoring Committee comprising a group of independent experts will regularly assess the progress and safety data of this study.
The project also aims to build national clinical trial capabilities to respond to future outbreaks, as well as strengthen local and global capabilities for clinical research on vaccines for priority diseases.
This grant is a significant investment in the fight against Ebola and other infectious diseases. It will help to ensure that countries at risk of outbreaks have the tools and resources they need to respond quickly and effectively.