The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is at a critical point in managing the recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD). Institutions such as the World Health Organization (WHO) are allocating resources to mitigate the outbreak. A contribution by Evidence Aid provides support in the form of an online resource (www.evidenceaid.org/Ebola) that summarizes and translates evidence from systematic reviews of current practices and interventions related to this viral disease.
After the most recent and fatal EVD outbreak (in West Africa in 2014-2015) a considerable number of research studies were published. However, access to research at the global level for people providing medical care or for those assisting in the humanitarian sector is a problem. The information is often published in journals that are not available to the public, and reports are scattered so that they are difficult to find and to assimilate for use.
The Evidence Aid Ebola collection currently offers 37 systematic reviews. These are summarized, labeled (for easy search engine recovery), and translated into French and Spanish (thanks to collaboration by Translators without Borders) for wider geographical distribution.
The collection is continually updated (most recently on 4 July 2019) and has been revised twice since its creation in 2014 as a response to the 2013 outbreak. The majority of the systematic reviews included are on seroprevalence and diagnostic techniques, possible drugs, vaccines, and various analyses of the causes and effects that EVD has had in the affected countries.
The subjects (available since 9 July 2019) on which Evidence Aid has identified systematic reviews are listed as: Epidemiology (7); Health workers and Ebola (5); Health systems and outbreak management/surveillance (10); Patient management (8); Persistence and seroprevalence studies (4); Pregnancy and Ebola (2); and Research in Ebola settings (1).
The objective of Evidence Aid is to promote the use of solid evidence on systematic reviews in the humanitarian sector. Evidence Aid saves lives by advocating use of the best evidence and has been successful in disseminating the Ebola collection in the DRC through the African Index Medicus (AIM), which is part of WHO.
The collection will be expanded even further to include updated studies on EVD to provide assistance in managing the current DRC outbreak as well as future outbreaks.