As the Ebola outbreak death toll rises, Britain puts out a plea to international researchers everywhere
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/21/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The Wellcome Trust and the United kingdom's Department for International Development put out a plea for researchers around the world to help fight the Ebola outbreak which is ravaging West Africa, the largest outbreak of the deadly disease in history.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has caused the deaths of more than 1,300 people, and currently seems beyond control even as experimental drugs are raced to the affected regions.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The August 21 plea comes as the British government and the Wellcome Trust make a $10.8 million available for research, and the Trust is also making a five-year commitment of $66.5 million to "develop the next generation of African health researchers."
This money will go towards scientists in sub-Saharan Africa who are studying neglected tropical diseases, HIV, tuberculosis and others. Experts are also being asked to submit their proposals for treatments, details on Ebola and how it spreads, and strategies on how to prevent transmission.
"We are launching an emergency call for research to strengthen what we know about Ebola and how it spreads," read a statement by International Development Secretary Justine Greening. "This will help us better equip those working on the ground so they can tackle the outbreak as effectively as possible and prevent more people contracting this terrible disease."
Wellcome Trust Director Dr. Jeremy Farrar says the seriousness of the current Ebola epidemic demands an "urgent response."
"We believe rapid research into humanitarian interventions and therapeutics can have an impact on treatment and containment during the present outbreak. What we learn could also change the way we approach future outbreaks, providing us with tested tools and techniques that were not available to public health authorities this time," he said.
The World Health Organization reported that by August 20 there were 1,350 deaths from this Ebola outbreak which has affected the nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.
There is now pressure on drug companies and researchers to produce a drug that could work on the masses of infected patients. A need that may force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to become more lenient in its testing.
Experimental drugs TKM-Ebola, and VSV-EBOV have already been shipped to west Africa, hot on the heals of the delivery of ZMapp, an experimental drug by Mapp Biopharmaceuticals which showed signs of potentially stopping Ebola infections. The San Diego-based company gave its entire supply of the drug-less than fifteen doses-to the Liberian government.
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