Congolese “will be used as simple guinea pigs” for ebola vaccine
An MP from the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo warned against introducing a second vaccine to try to contain the Ebola outbreak in the country. Muhindo Nzangi Butondo requested that the tests be carried out and the vaccine subsequently introduced if they were conclusive.
He told BBC Africa that in his opinion the Congolese “will be used as simple guinea pigs without their consent” for the new vaccine. This week, the Minister of Health, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, left his post in protest after the creation by President Felix Tshisekedi of a new governmental anti-Ebola center.
Dr. Ilunga says he has been pressured by actors who “lack ethics” to allow the use of the vaccine that has not yet been licensed. Four experimental vaccines are currently being studied to combat this epidemic: Merck & Co, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), CanSino Biologics Inc and Rospotrebnadzo. Only the Merck & Co vaccine has been approved by the Ethics Committee of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A support fund of the World Bank
With regard to the fight against Ebola, the World Bank Group is preparing a $300 million grant and credit fund to support the fight against the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The financial institution reports that the funding will meet half of the needs of a new Ebola contingency plan to be approved by the Congolese government and an international consortium next week.
The World Health Organization had already said that the Ebola response would require “hundreds of millions” of dollars for the rest of the year.