Sunday, August 17, 2014

#Ebola - Nano Silver Proves Unethical As Health Workers Quit Over Lack of Government Support

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The Nigerian health minister had earlier struck a deal to accept Nano Silver to treat Ebola patients from an unnamed Nigerian in the diaspora whom the minister claims discovered or invented Nano Silver [read here].

However, the US Food and Drugs Administration followed up his statement with a warning that the Nano Silver procured by Nigeria to treat Ebola is classified as a pesticide.

In a disappointing twist, the minister in Lagos yesterday said Nigeria has now abandoned the use of Nano Silver because an independent assessment shows the protocol they have can’t treat Ebola. He said Nanosilver failed to pass the ethical test, and so will not be used.

“You will recall that, last Thursday, I announced that we were ready to deploy an experimental drug, Nano Silver; it was not cleared by the National Health Research Ethics Committee.

“Although the drug has since been made available to the EOC in Lagos, it has not been administered on any patient because we were awaiting clearance by ‎the National Health Research Ethics Committee.

“I regret to inform you that the drug did not meet the requirements of the National Health Research Ethics Code. Accordingly, approval for its use was withheld by the National Health Research Ethics Committee.”
In more depressing news, it appears that the situation on ground is very different from what the Nigerian health minister had yesterday said in a press conference. He said;

“The total number of confirmed cases of EVD in the country was now 12, with four deaths and 189 under surveillance in Lagos and six in Enugu. As you are aware, the patients under treatment have now been moved to the new 40-bed capacity isolation ward provided by Lagos State government. Additional equipment has also been made available to the new isolation ward by the Federal Government”.

Sahara Reporters have revealed that health workers at the Ebola Observation Center have either quit or are threatening to do so because the government is not supportive of their efforts at all!

Related - Ebola Patients in Quarantine Are Neglected And Poor Ones Discriminated

The health workers said they quit because of what they portrayed as the lack-luster attitude of their country’s health officials to the plight of Ebola patients sequestered at the Center for Infectious Disease Control in Yaba, a district of the Lagos State capital of Lagos.

In addition, members of medical teams sent to Nigeria by the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders had become so frustrated by the Nigerian government’s inept response to the Ebola outbreak that they are also threatening to quit, unless the government’s attitude changes dramatically.

The doctors and nurses disclosed that, before Ebola patients were moved three days ago to a better facility next door, they were housed in a dilapidated and abandoned building at the center.

They said it took complaints by families of the victims of Ebola to reporters to force the hands of the government to move the patients to a cleaner, more humane facility.

The former facility where patients had been kept had no functioning water supply and no air-conditioning.

The report continues that;

“The families of patients had to cater for them and pay for some drugs and oxygen, even though the Nigerian government claimed to have released more than N1.9 billion for treatment of Ebola victims,” one doctor alleged.

One of the volunteers who quit on Friday said the Nigerian government had done little or nothing to cater for consultants and volunteers who were battling the deadly virus.

“These consultants and volunteers were not housed, they were not fed, and they were not provided with transportation to enable them to continue working on site,” said a doctor.

“Because of the level of exposure of volunteers and physicians managing Ebola patients, they ought to be housed near the facility and moved around in a special vehicle to and from the center.”

But the doctors often return home to their families and had to disinfect their homes on their own.

The sources revealed that only seven Nigerian doctors were on ground at the center as opposed to 20 needed to take on the challenge of treating and managing Ebola. The Nigerian doctors and nurses are being led and trained by an eight-member team of physicians from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Doctors Without Borders.

The expatriate medical experts were also threatening to leave, citing the Nigerian government’s failure to recognize the seriousness of the Ebola disease. For example, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, had not come near the any of the Ebola victims or given adequate assistance to the medical teams battling the deadly virus.

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