WORLD Africans face long wait for unproven Ebola drug
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.