Ebola: U.S. won’t provide experimental drug to Africa – Obama

American President, Barack Obama

Mr. Obama asked African leaders to improve on their healthcare systems.

The President of the United States of America, Barrack Obama, has said the U.S. would not give the experimental drug for the management of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, to African countries until scientists certify it for human treatment.

Speaking at a news conference after the US-African Summit on Wednesday, Mr. Obama asked leaders of African countries affected by the disease outbreak to improve on their public health systems.‎

“The countries affected are the first to admit that what’s happened here is the public health systems have been overwhelmed. They weren’t able to identify and then isolate cases quickly enough.

“As a consequence, it spread more rapidly than has been typical with the periodic Ebola outbreaks that occurred previously,” Mr. Obama said.

He said the availability of the experimental drug, Zmapp, should depend on guide from scientists on its safety for human consumption.

Zmapp was developed by a biotechnology firm Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., in San Diego.

The new drug was used on two U.S. health officials, Kent Brantley and Nancy Writebol, who were infected with the virus in Liberia and later taken to the U.S.

The Nigerian government had asked the U.S. Centre for Disease Control to provide it with the experimental drug being administered on the two American doctors infected in Liberia.

Both are said to be responding to treatment.

Mr. Obama also advised that resources must be made available for health workers to improve on the public health systems.

“I don’t think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful. What we do know is that the Ebola virus – both currently and in the past – is controllable if you have strong public health infrastructure in place.

“Let’s get all the health workers that we need on the ground. Let’s help to bolster the systems that they already have in place,” he said.

The virus which has ravaged Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia crept into Lagos, Nigeria, through an infected Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, who died on July 21.

The virus has killed one Nigerian nurse who attended to the Liberian before he died.

Five other Nigerians who had direct contact with Mr. Sawyer have also tested positive of Ebola virus, the government has said.


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  • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

    Why am I not surprised at the response of Obama, after-all, Africa only merited an official tour only after his second term was won?

    As far as he is concerned, his stake to statesmanship can only be measured by how much impact he can have in the Middle East, not in Africa, the Dark Continent.

    Any takers for a bet that after his stint at the White House, he would turn around and proclaim undying love for the Continent of his father in order to retain some form of international relevance?

  • lala

    When will the “Lion of Africa” step up its game. All the oil money and can’t control a virus. Always waiting for hand outs. What Obama is saying here is fact – Use your money to develop your own healthcare for your own people. I don’t hear the nigerian goverment ofeering 1 or 2 billion dollars to move the Ebola reasearh facility to Africa?

  • Fizzlebee

    He has a point. The drug is still being tested. If it is given to Africans and it has an adverse effect, people will say the whites want to kill them. Remember how hard it was to convince people in the north to accept vaccination. Bill Gates had to come down here himself to tell them the vaccines are for their own good. Let it be well tested before it is administered anybody.

    • Jesuslover101

      The last time I checked Obama was not white. Let’s not play games…Pfizer came to test uncertified drugs in Nigeria and got away with it. Its not as if the US is straightforward

      • Fizzlebee

        Was Pfizer authorized by the government of its origin or they came on their own accord? Whether Obama is black or white has nothing to do with this. He represents America of which the population is mostly white. This is a sensitive issue.

    • Jaguara

      Straw man.

      “Let it be well tested before it is administered to anybody”

      And yet it is tested well enough to be administered to the 2 Americans…but we will not trust the Kenyans to try it as well?

      They have asked for the drug, which they know is experimental. It will only be given to Ebola patients, who otherwise have a 10-30% chance of survival. Not providing the drug is merely condemning many people to die and looks very cold. It will lose more goodwill than if the drug turns out to have side effects.

      • Fizzlebee

        The side effects can not be ascertain at this early stage. Secondly you won’t expect a small pharmaceutical company to give out their drug for free. We have to pay for it. It’s time Africa grows past aids from the west.

  • Ms. V

    Fizzlebee is right, the medicine needs to be tested before given to anyone. African scientists needs to also work on a drug
    to cure this disease and not to depend on others. I am an African American.

    • You sound silly. Give your vaccines to yourself, our God will preserve us and dry ebola from its roots in Jesus name, amen.

  • Why didn’t he wait for the scientists to finish before testing it on the Americans
    I laugh in spanish.

    • Rita

      I agree completely. If it is not certified for human treatment then is should not have been used on anyone. If it was good enough for Americans it should be goo enough for everyone.

    • Fizzlebee

      The Americans are the first humans that the drug has be tried on. There is an incubation period for some drugs. You think it is doing a great job but it might just be killing you somehow. So to avoid some diplomatic and legal issues that may come up if things go haywire it is advisable to run tests first to ascertain it is safe for consumption. It is standard procedure.

  • Enemona

    True. African leaders should put their houses in order. They all act like kids, they lack any sense of responsibility.

    Our government did not react early to put controls in place. It took long for us to know that Sawyer had Ebola. There was nothing at the airport to check after countries like Ivory Coast and Ghana have had quarantines and other controls setup in their ports of entry.

    Our government were only thinking about elections; Osun elections and 2015. Now that it’s in Nigeria, the knee-jerk response has kicked in in full swing with everybody running up and down like headless chickens.

  • zil

    As usual, African look up to the West for an African malaise. Experimental drugs are what they are, Experimental! The only difference is that they are willing to take a chance at it.

    From all indication the drug developed by Dr. Ben Amodu has a similar chance, we must sign consent forms with the Patient and try the drugs.

    Instead of just waiting for them to die, we should administer these combinational treatment by Dr. Amodu and monitor the efficacy.

    ” In fact a member of the committee inaugurated by the Director General of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, to champion the development of herbal medicine through scientific validation of all the cure claims, Dr. Ben Amodu, says he has the cure for EVD.

    Amodu, a pharmacist, and his team of researchers from Halamin Herbal centre, 10 George Innih Crescent, Apo District, Abuja and Department of Histopathology and Cytology, Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) Jos, Plateau State, found that the poly herbal preparations strengthen the immune system through many cytokines and chemokines regulations