Three leading experts on Ebola virus has asked authorities to release an experimental drug to Africa to fight the Ebola virus. Western Africa is reeling under an unprecedented Ebola epidemic. The experts assailed the callous attitude of the West and said that if the Ebola epidemic was to happen in any Western nation the drug would have surely been released.
A full blown controversy has erupted after it was reported that two American Health workers who were infected by the deadly virus are being administered the experimental drugs while a number of Doctors and health workers have succumbed to the virus, bringing into fore the ethics of the decision to segregate and distribute the drugs according to the nationality.
According to the latest figures released by ‘WHO’, 1711 persons have been infected with the deadly virus and 932 have succumbed to the disease. Guinea tops with the largest number of deaths due to Ebola at 363 followed by Sierra Leone which has seen 286 deaths and Liberia where 282 persons have succumbed to the disease.
Meanwhile Saudi authorities have confirmed that a Saudi national who visited Sierra Leone has died due to Ebola in a Saudi Hospital in Jeddah. Nigeria has also announced five new cases of Ebola and two deaths. The use of the experimental drugs has raised many questions in the medical circles. Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu was talking to journalists and said that his government is in contact with US CDC officials to get access to the experimental drugs which are being administered to Dr. Kent Brantly and hygienist Nancy Writebol
There are calls to make the drug available in Africa but there fears that pharmaceutical multinationals will use the population of Africa as guinea pigs to test their medicines. The present outbreak of Ebola carries a mortality rate of 55% and many experts warn that the new drug could possibly kill persons who could have survived otherwise. Health Workers who are at risk should be given the right to refuse or accept the treatment according to their free will. West African governments who are facing the brunt of the Ebola epidemic should be allowed to make informed decisions about whether or not to use these drugs.