Thursday, August 7, 2014
Federal Government Begs for Ebola Drug From US Centre
The Federal Government says it has reached out to the United States Centre for Disease Control to request for the unapproved Ebola drug Zmapp, for the treatment of affected persons in Nigeria. Talking to reporters after the Federal Executive Council meeting which held in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku and the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, said the government was awaiting the response of the request it made last night to the centre in the US.
“The Federal Government has reached out to the United States Centre for Disease Control, to request for the unapproved Ebola drug, Zmapp, for the treatment of affected persons in Nigeria,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama says it is too early to send the experimental drug to Africa. Speaking at a news conference at the end of an African summit, the US President said he lacked enough information to give the green light on distributing the experimental treatment, insisting the world must "let the science guide us".
"I don't think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful,” said Mr Obama.
Two US aid workers striken by the virus were administered ZMapp in Liberia ahead of their evacuation to America for treatment. Their condition appears to be improving, but it is unclear if the drug is directly responsible.
ZMapp is a drug made from antibodies produced in a lab that has never gone through human trials or been approved by the US’s FDA Food and Drug Administration. Producing ZMapp is also slow process as antibodies have to be produced on specially modified tobacco leaves.