WORLD Africans face long wait for un­proven Ebola drug

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Africans seek­ing a drug to help con­tain the Ebola virus will have to wait months be­fore a po­ten­tially life-sav­ing ex­per­i­men­tal treat­ment used on two in­fected Amer­i­cans is pro­duced in even small amounts, officials said.

And there are no guar­an­tees that the med­i­ca­tion known as ZMapp would help curb the spread of the dreaded dis­ease, which starts with a fever and body aches and some­times pro­gresses to se­ri­ous bleed­ing. Sup­plies of the drug are lim­ited, and it has never been tested for safety or ef­fec­tive­ness in hu­mans.

The health min­is­ter of Nige­ria, one of the four coun­tries where Ebola has bro­ken out, told a news con­fer­ence in his coun­try that he had asked the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion about ac­cess to the drug. But a CDC spokesman said Wed­nes­day "there are vir­tu­ally no doses avail­able."

Some peo­ple in other af­fected coun­tries ques­tioned why the drug has not been of­fered to in­fected Africans.

An­thony Ka­mara, a 27-year-old man rid­ing a bi­cy­cle in Free­town, Sierra Leone, said "Amer­i­cans are very self­ish. They only care about the lives of them­selves and no one else."

He re­ferred to ZMapp as Chil­dren buy fried pota­toes on a street in Lagos, Nige­ria, Thurs­day Aug. 7, 2014. West Africans bat­tling to con­tain the spread of Ebola will have to wait for months un­til a po­ten­tially life-sav­ing ex­per­i­men­tal drug used on two Amer­i­cans in­fected with the dreaded dis­ease could even be made, officials said. There's lit­tle of the ex­per­i­men­tal drug ZMapp avail­able now, and even if it can be made in large quan­ti­ties, its safety and ef­fec­tive­ness haven't been tested yet. "the mir­a­cle serum" that Amer­i­cans have "re­fused to share with us to save African lives."

The lack of wider avail­abil­ity of the drug "shows sim­ply that white pa­tients and black pa­tients do not have the same value in the eyes of world medicine," said Nouri­dine Sow, a so­ci­ol­ogy pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sal In­sti­tute of Guinea.

(AP Photo/Sun­day Alamba)

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