The Word Health Organisation (WHO) has Tuesday approved the use of experimental drugs in the treatment of patients infected with the deadly Ebola virus.
In a statement sequel to its meeting in Switzerland on Monday to discuss the issue, WHO said it was ethical in light of the scale of the outbreak and high number of deaths. The disease has claimed over 1,000 people in West Africa.
In the statement, it said: “In the particular circumstances of this outbreak, and provided certain conditions are met, the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention.”
Last week the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak was a global health emergency.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu has disclosed that the Federal Government is already reaching out to countries and organisations across the world to get experimental vaccines to treat those already diagnosed with the Ebola disease.
The trial drug, Zmapp has been used on two US aid workers who have shown signs of improvement. A Roman Catholic priest, infected with Ebola in Liberia, who died after returning home to Spain is also thought to have been given the drug.
The decision to use the drug to treat two Americans infected with the disease, while close to 1,000 Africans have already died from the deadly epidemic, had sparked off controversy with US experts claiming it was ethically justified.