A number of current and former Navy Medical Research and Development (NMR&D) laboratory staff members have been recruited by the World Health Organization to assist in the deadly outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa.
Most notably among these are former Naval Medical Research Unit Six’s (NAMRU-6) Virology Department Head, Cmdr. Joel Montgomery, USPHS and the current NAMRU-6 Virology and Infectious Diseases Department Head, Dr. Daniel Bausch.
Montgomery has been detailed to Guinea from his current position as the Head of the CDC’s Global Disease Detection Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Bausch, who is assigned to NAMRU-6 under an Inter-Agency Professional Agreement with Tulane University, is a leading authority on emerging and re-emerging viral diseases.
In addition to Montgomery and Bausch, Cmdr. David Brett-Major, a Naval Medical Research Center asset detailed to the WHO, Geneva, has been deployed (by the WHO) to Conarky, Guinea as a WHO consultant.
Additionally, NMRC’s Cmdr. James Lawler deployed to Guinea May 5 at the by-name request of the WHO based on his previous experience in handling hemorrhagic fever cases.
Although not directly detailed to help in the control of the current ebola outbreak, Lt. Nehkonti Adams, Director of the Naval Medical Research Unit Three (NAMRU-3) field lab in Accra, Ghana is serving on the Case Management Working Group at the Ministry of Health helping create Ghana’s first Ebola Emergency Preparedness Plan.
The active engagement of these NMR&D lab staff members in current ebola control efforts speaks to both the relevance and high quality of the research, surveillance, and response activities of the NMR&D labs.
Article and image courtesy of Naval Medical Research Center Public Affairs, edited for context and length. Image credit: Mikelle D. Smith