Parliament makes ‘U-turn’ on Ebola vaccination

Months after Ghana’s Parliament directed the Ministry of Health to suspend an ongoing Ebola vaccination trial in the country, the law making institution is likely to rescind its decision.

This follows a report submitted to the House by the Health Committee in Parliament which among other things recommended that the exercise should continue.

The report signed by Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Chairman of Parliament’s Committee on Health claimed that the decision was arrived at following several deliberations with the stakeholders in the sector.

“After interaction with key stakeholders, the Committee was persuaded that there had been no Ebola clinical trials going on in the country. However, the FDA has approved a vaccine, namely the Johnson Ebola vaccine trials, as part of an international effort to find a cure to the deadly Ebola Virus Disease. A second vaccine, the GSK vaccine is currently being considered for approval.”

The report added that, “the Committee was convinced that the vaccine approved for clinical trials is safe and that most of the concerns about the vaccine can only be answered after the clinical trials have been undertaken.”

Meanwhile, the Committee has recommended to Parliament to “urge the Minister of Health to intensify education on the clinical. The Committee also resolved to undertake follow-ups on all the processes involved with these scientific exercises.”

Ghana-parliamentFollowing the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus in parts of Africa, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in June gave an international pharmaceutical company approval to commence Ebola Vaccine trial in Ghana with the hope of getting a cure for the deadly disease.

The FDA had insisted that the trial will not pose any health hazard to Ghanaians.

But the exercise raised massive public outcry while Members of Parliament hauled the Minister of Health before it to answer questions pertaining to the trial.

Parliament further directed the Ministry to suspend the trial with immediate effect.

Angered by Parliament’s directive, an Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Ghana Professor Alex Dodoo described the Members of Parliament as being “ignorant” over their comments regarding the Ebola vaccine trial.

He was later hauled before Parliament and made to apologise for taking the MPs on.

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