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With only a dozen doses of medicine, Liberia faces an ethical crisis

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/14/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Two doctors will be first treated, but not clear who else will receive drug

Already struggling with the worst Ebola outbreak in history, the West African nation of Liberia is facing an excruciating choice-deciding who will receive Zmapp, an experimental drug that could prove life-saving.

Liberia has received an experimental drug which may provide a cure to the terrible Ebola outbreak that is devastating the country.

Liberia has received an experimental drug which may provide a cure to the terrible Ebola outbreak that is devastating the country.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
8/14/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Ebola, Health, Africa, International


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The drug arrived in Liberia on August 13 in two boxes, and was couriered personally by Liberia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augustine Ngufuan.

These people are your brothers and sisters under Christ, please help them!

Assistant health minister Tolbert Nyenswah said that three or four people would begin receiving treatment with the drug on August 14, as well as two Liberian doctors who came down with the disease while treating infected patients, but as of now it is not clear who will get to try the drug.

These are the last doses of Zmapp, and the San Diego-based company that makes it, Mapp Biopharmaceuticals, said it will take months to develop another supply.

This Ebola outbreak has killed over 1,000 people and infected nearly twice that many, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported. It has overwhelmed the region's already strained health systems, and sparked an ethical debate over the use of experimental drugs and who gets to use them.

Liberian officials have already decided that the first two people to receive the drug will be Doctors Zukunis Ireland and Abraham Borbor, who caught the disease while treating infected patients.

"The criteria of selection is difficult, but it is going to be done," said Dr. Moses Massaquoi. "We are going to look at how critical people are. We are definitely going to be focusing on medical staff."

Massaquoi said patients who looked like they had made it through the worst of the disease and looked likely to survive would not be treated with it.

The WHO reported that only 10 or 12 doses of the drug have been made.

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