Ghana has postponed a trial for an Ebola vaccine after so much complaints received that locals were being needlessly used as “guinea pigs” in a country presently free of the deadly disease.
On Wednesday, the West African nation’s health minister spokesperson told a local radio station that several Ghanaians had called the official stating their disinterest in the project.
The country had decided to join other nations in holding trials to test the safety and effects of 2 experimental vaccines against a virus that has killed over 11,150 people in the region.
Phase 1 safety tests for one vaccine, developed by US pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson and Denmark’s Bavarian Nordic in the southeastern Volta region, and gave volunteers a cell phone and almost $5 each.
But faced with growing opposition to the trial, Alex Segbefia, the Health Minister who is presently out of the country, decided to suspend the tests.
“The minister has got a lot of calls from numerous Ghanaians saying that they are not interested in any trial,” he said Wednesday.
“So he said… the trial should be suspended until he returns to look at the issues.”
Leaders of the ruling National Democratic Congress in the Volta region said the trial was a “needless experiment”.
They said in a statement,” We have cases of malaria, cholera and HIV/AIDS among others. We need vaccines or remedies for these diseases.”
“Why should a country that is not threatened by Ebola risk the lives of its citizens for an unnecessary experiment?
“We would be grateful if the experiment is cancelled completely to prevent the use of innocent Voltarians as guinea pigs.”
The Ebola outbreak that out broke in December 2013 is the poorest since the deadly virus was first discovered in 1976.
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