Fatoumata Diabaté

Urgent Ebola Vaccine Trials

  • A health worker, one of 80 Malian volunteers, waits outside the candidate Ebola vaccine research room.

  • Researchers take each volunteer’s vital signs, weight, and blood samples prior to giving the vaccine so they can compare results.

  • Researchers must warm the candidate Ebola vaccine – which is stored at -80° C (-112° F) prior to giving it to volunteers.

  • A health worker draws the vaccine into a syringe. This is one of several Ebola vaccines under development.

  • The main purpose of this Phase 1 trial is to test the vaccine for safety and for an immune response. Over 200 volunteers in four countries have received this vaccine.

  • Health workers check vital signs immediately again after vaccination. They will monitor each volunteer regularly over 4 weeks to compile initial results.

  • Researchers keep careful records, which will be compiled with results from the other research sites.

  • The research team including leader Dr. Samba Sow (to the left of the woman in blue) and Dr. Myron Levine from the University of Maryland (center).

About The Art

When a candidate Ebola vaccine was trialed on volunteers in Mali in mid-October 2014, renowned Malian photographer Fatoumata Diabaté was there. The Phase 1 clinical trials are assessing if the candidate vaccine is safe enough to be used in humans and can provoke an immune response. Fatoumata captured the careful work of researchers as they tested the vaccine on 80 consenting health workers at Mali’s Centre for Vaccine Development in Bamako. She also photographed the team led by Malian researcher Dr. Samba Sow. These trials, using a vaccine based on a chimpanzee adenovirus, are taking place in five sites: the University of Maryland and Emory University in the US, Oxford University in the UK, the University of Maryland/ Mali Ministry of Health Centre for Vaccine Development in Bamako and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. This candidate vaccine is being developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and GSK. This candidate Ebola vaccine is one of several under development.

Fatoumata Diabaté
“It’s an honor that Malians are leading these trials in Bamako, given the urgent need to stop the tragedy of Ebola in west Africa.”

Fatoumata Diabaté is one of Mali’s most accomplished young photographers. Born in Bamako in 1980, she studied at the Centre de Formation Audiovisuel Promo-Femmes, the Centre de Formation en Photographie and in Vevey Switzerland. She has since taken part in a number of group exhibitions in Bamako and solo shows in Cahors, France and Bern, Switzerland. In 2005, she was awarded the Institut Français’ Prix Afrique en Création for her project, Touaregs, en gestes et en mouvements. Read more about Fatoumata Diabaté.

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