UM Leader Participates in Ebola Drug Trial

Dr. Francis Karteh
Dr. Francis Karteh

Ebola Trial Vaccines participant happy with results

Six months after participating in the Ebola trial vaccines, Dr. Francis Karteh said he still feels better, healthy and there are no signs of complication as a result of the vaccine. He indicated that the 1500 Liberians including himself that took the Ebola trial vaccines are better prepared to withstand any attack from the present Ebola virus strand than the Liberians who did not take it. “My immune system has improved as a result of the vaccine and if attack by the Ebola virus my body will fight back and I will not be overcome by it,” Dr. Karteh asserted. Though the trial vaccines are not yet perfect, participating in the process was the best contribution that any Liberian could have made in helping the global community to fight the deadly Ebola virus, the health ministry official said.

Now serving as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Liberia, Dr. Karteh said the Ebola vaccines trial process is at the level where participants blood sample is being tested to know the impact the vaccines have had on the individuals. Dr. Karteh who blood sample was taken on August 21, 2015 said the result of the test which is due in about a week time will help him understand his personal position in fighting the Ebola virus. “I am sure this is not a license for me and other Liberians who participated in the Ebola trial vaccines process to be reckless with our lives thinking that the virus will not harm us,” the CMO warned, adding, “we can only fight and resist the present Ebola virus strand that is presently in Liberia.” He pointed out that once the blood samples are tested, participants will have to wait for the next six month for another test to be conducted before the actual results trial vaccines and the condition participants be declared okay.

Initially planned for 900 persons, the Ebola trial vaccines team were vaccinated 1500 persons who voluntarily came to the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, a suburb of Monrovia. According to the CMO, the people are now being tested for any complications that they may have developed in the last six months. “As a doctor and a United Methodist, my role in this Ebola trial vaccines process has been and still is one of encouragement,” Dr. Karteh said. He indicated that once the results of the are positive, Liberia would have contributed to finding a solution to the global health crisis imposed on us by the Ebola virus.

Dr. Francis Kateh, is the former chief medical officer of the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County northern Liberia, former administrator of the Ganta United Methodist Hospital also in Nimba County, and now works with two other United Methodists in managing the health sector of the Republic of Liberia. They are; Dr. Bernice T. Dahn, Minister of Health and member of the Tubman UMC, Hon. Torbor Nyenswah, Head of the Ebola Incident Management Team and member of the Trinity UMC, and Dr. Karteh himself is the Chief Medical Officer and member of the Stephen Trowen Nagbe UMC.