Health workers have hailed the reported success of the experimental drug, ZMapp, on Ebola infected American doctor, Dr Kent Brantly and American Missionary Health worker, Nancy Writebol, while calling for caution.
Within an hour of receiving ZMapp, Brantly’s condition dramatically improved. He began breathing easier; the rash over his trunk faded away. One of his doctors described the events as “miraculous.”
Writebol also received a vial of the medication. Her response was not as remarkable, according to sources familiar with the treatment. However, doctors on Sunday administered Writebol a second dose of the medication, which resulted in significant improvement.
A medical doctor, Dr Osahon Enabulele, noted that with over 1,600 persons in the West African sub-region so far infected with the deadly Ebola virus and a death toll of over 887 (as at August 1, 2014), it is heart-warming that some experimental drugs for treatment of Ebola viral disease such as ZMapp and BCX4430 have shown great potential.
He said that the case of the dramatic clinical improvement shown by the infected Brantly following administration of an experimental drug strengthens the hope of finding an effective drug for the treatment of Ebola virus.
Also in his remarks, the national president, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Dr Godswill Okara, described it as a welcome development.
He said the good result recorded from the use of the drugs on the two Americans is good and encouraging.
According to him, it’s naturally expedient to use the drugs considering the magnanimity of the problem at hand, adding that it was normal at this instance to err on the side of caution.
But, Enabulele, who is the immediate past president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), said that it was too early to celebrate, calling for caution.
He said, “Even though the emerging results from the administration of an experimental drug on Brantly and Writebol are enthralling, I am of the strong conviction that it is still too early to celebrate as these drugs are yet to be processed through all the required drug clinical trial phases, particularly human clinical trials.”
Okara expressed sadness over “government’s lip service to laboratory services and researches because Ebola Virus was discovered in 1976, about 38 years ago, and nothing was done till date.
“One would have expected that Nigeria, being the powerhouse of Africa, would have spearheaded and championed efforts for the cure of the disease.”[eap_ad_2]
Also, Enabulele, who is the vice president of Commonwealth Medical Association, called for expeditious pursuit of further studies on the experimental drugs, particularly as it concerns human clinical trials.
“In the case of affected West African countries, I strongly call on the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and particularly governments in the West African sub-region to make greater investments in research, particularly in recognition of the evident economic and political challenges militating against the rapid development of drugs and vaccines to contain Ebola disease outbreak.
According to him, while the recent effort of Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, in putting together a team to analyse all drug claims (including Bitter Cola) for Ebola virus is commendable, Enabulele urged more proactive planning for research on all issues of public health in Nigeria.
“ Furthermore, to boost the research efforts and outcome in Nigeria, particularly in the drug development process, I passionately call for an effective integration and engagement of all stakeholders, including government at all levels, the academia and professional bodies/associations, pharmaceutical companies, philanthropic organisations, and citizens of Nigeria.”
The Ebola virus causes viral hemorrhagic fever, which refers to a group of viruses that affect multiple organ systems in the body and are often accompanied by bleeding.
Early symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat. They later progress to vomiting, diarrhoea, impaired kidney and liver function and sometimes, internal and external bleeding.
The NMA immediate past president said until there is scientific proof of effective and reliable drugs and vaccines for Ebola virus, all efforts should be directed at raising public health awareness on Ebola viral disease (and other Viral Haemorrhagic Diseases) through public health campaign messages (utilising available ICT technologies), institution and strengthening of health preventive and promoting activities and services, including improved personal and community hygiene, strengthening emergency preparedness, disease containment measures and disease surveillance mechanisms, particularly at Nigeria’s ports of entry and the various health facilities across the country. (Leadership)[eap_ad_3]