ReCaSt-ID: Building research capacity in clinical management of Infectious Diseases at two main adult Government Hospitals in Freetown, Sierra Leone

This project is part of the EDCTP2 programme supported by the European Union.

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa is one of the most significant humanitarian crises of our time. We now know that a strong and resilient health system is critical for rapid response, as well as proper management of both the outbreak and the remaining health needs of the population, which do not cease in the presence of an epidemic. Capacity to undertake research activity, both within key government institutions as well as by individual health care workers (HCWs), is an integral part of a resilient health system.


Within Freetown, both Connaught and 34 Military Hospitals are large tertiary facilities that have proven capacity for clinical management of EVD, and have also served as important sites for some EVD research activity. Research capacity will be strengthened at these institutions through the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership (KSLP). This partnership was formed in 2011 by King’s Heath Partners in London and key Sierra Leone partners, including the College of Medicine & Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), Connaught Government Hospital and the Ministry of Health & Sanitation, with the aim of strengthening Sierra Leone’s health system by improving training, clinical services, policy and research.

Aims and Objectives

To build individual, institutional (Connaught and 34 Military hospitals) and national clinical research capacity in Infectious Disease response,  with a focus on three work streams:

  • Human Resources
  • Research Infrastructure
  • Enabling Environment

Human Resources

This stream will aim to design and deliver education and training activities, including mentoring to support senior colleagues at Connaught and 34 Military in Freetown, undergraduate students at COMAHS and health professionals from other government institutions in Freetown and across the regions. The initial focus will be on senior medical staff, early career academic clinicians, internship doctors, nursing and laboratory staff, and final year COMAHS medical students. Training will be delivered through a portfolio of methods:

  • Delivery of a research methodology course to Medical students
  • Mentoring Senior medical colleagues to develop research proposals
  • Delivery of a series of research seminars to postgraduate healthcare workers

Research Infrastructure

  • Creating an electronic patient record systems and linking it to central database
  • Developing and testing protocols for processing laboratory samples;
  • Developing clinical protocols for specific diseases
  • Creating a system for patient screening as per WHO IDSR protocols
  • Development of standardised treatment guidelines

Enabling Environment

  • Development of guidelines for rapid implementation of research studies
  • Outline systems for fast-tracked study approval