Food and Drug Authority Educates Public on Ebola Vaccine Trial

A public forum, which aimed to sensitize the citizenry on the Ebola Vaccine trial and scheduled to take place in Hohoe in the Volta Region, has taken place in Accra.

Speaking at the forum, which was organized by the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), last week, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in charge of Safety Monitory and Clinical Trial at the FDA, Mrs Delese Darko, explained that although Ghana had not registered any occurrence, it was necessary to administer the vaccine to guard against diseases that may arise after the Ebola Virus outbreak.


Mrs Darko assured Ghanaians that the drug used for the vaccine had undergone review and studies in all animals and humans, and in accordance with  manufacturing practices, adding that approval of the administration of the drug had come from the ethics committee.


The Deputy CEO indicated that the FDA was recognized in the African Region as a Regulatory Centre of Excellence in the area of the clinical trials as it had recently supported Liberia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Burkina Faso and Uganda in the review of the clinical applications for anti-Ebola vaccine.


In a presentation, Dr Kwaku Asante, Head of Research, FDA, and Principal of the Health Research Centre at Kintampo, said the absence of licensed drugs and vaccines contributed to the impact of the epidemic in Africa, hence the need to take precautionary measures to avoid such incidence.


Dr Asante said the vaccine could not be tested on individuals who were sick and that it would be applied on only those who were very healthy to help determine the safety and tolerance at first instance.


Furthermore, he said, every participant who volunteered for study would be given a form to fill and in the event that they wished to withdraw, they could do so willingly without any implications.


In a statement, Dr. Magda Robalo, WHO Country Director in Ghana, was of the view that the initiative was in the right direction as several attempts to get the medicine and vaccine for the Ebola disease had failed.


She assured Ghanaians that the drug being used for the Vaccine was safe as it had been tested, adding that progress was being made in the development of a safe drug to fight the Ebola disease and that WHO would not  compromise on safety.


Source: ISD (Chantal Aidoo & Naa  Oboshie Palm)