Book Launch project

The aim of this book is to capture within a given time frame the state of the art, science, preparedness and evolution of highly deadly epidemic pathogens at the very centre of the African continent which is already characterized by a heavy disease burden combined with resource poverty. Beginning in December 2013, the worst so far of these pathogens that quickly evolved into a deadly epidemic disease, the Ebola virus disease (EVD) broke out in West Africa. Beginning in Guinea, it quickly spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, and threatened assuming pandemic proportions with cases in the United States of America and Europe.

In the face of this urgent and dangerous situation, a group of African medical scientists and allied experts, for once, quickly convened a crisis meeting aimed at coordinating an effective local and indigenous response to the EVD and any other future emerging infectious deadly epidemics. The result was the creation of the Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium (GET) which, from the outset, realized the need and importance of harnessing indigenous knowledge and experience, of continuous capacity building and of integrating socio-cultural, anthropological, ethical, economic and communicational expertises into its work. The GET started off immediately by conducting research into the possibility of using convalescent blood plasma (plasmapheresies) of Ebola survivors as a cure for the deadly disease. But the threats are not limited to human health alone but extend to the entire biological and environmental domains.

This book is conceived as an inter/intra-disciplinary publication with contributions from the background of several disciplinary domains and joint authorship of some chapters by experts from different disciplinary perspectives. It should have a broad appeal across disciplines, from medical science and biomedical research, through research ethics, regulation and governance, science and health communication, social sciences, to the general reader.

Abstract

In December 2013, the worst ever Ebola virus disease (EVD) broke out in West Africa and quickly assumed epidemic proportions. Beginning in Guinea, it quickly spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, and threatened evolving into a pandemic with cases in the United States of America and Europe. In the face of this urgent and dangerous situation, a group of African medical scientists and allied experts quickly convened a crisis meeting aimed at coordinating an effective local and indigenous response to the EVD and any other future emerging infectious deadly pathogens. The result was the creation of the Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium (GET) which, from the outset, realized the need and importance of harnessing indigenous knowledge and experience, of continuous capacity building and of integrating socio-cultural, anthropological, ethical, economic and communicational expertises into its work. The GET started off immediately by conducting research into the possibility of using convalescent blood plasma (plasmapheresies) of Ebola survivors as a cure for the deadly disease, without forgetting that the threats were not limited to human health alone but extended to the entire biological and environmental domains.

This book project plans to tell the story of the EVD and other similar deadly pathogens and the story of the GET consortium in its fight against emerging deadly pathogens, its ambitions for Africa and the world at large, and its challenges and potentialities. The book is conceived as an inter/intra-disciplinary publication with contributions from the background of several disciplinary domains and joint authorship of some chapters by experts from different disciplinary perspectives. It should have a broad appeal across disciplines, from medical science and biomedical research, through research ethics, regulation and governance, science and health communication, social sciences, to the general reader.

At the launching of this book project, we will explain amply the idea and raison d’être of it, highlight its constitutive chapters and authors, its editors, production time-frames, possible readership and efforts at finding a suitable publisher for the book.

The editors and all the authors of this book are well established experts with either a terminal degree in a relevant discipline or a credible track record of peer-reviewed publications in leading international journals.