Ebola vaccine trial sensitisation begins on Thursday

The Ministry of Health will from Thursday, June 18 begin a sensitisation exercise in the Greater Accra Region on the impending Ebola vaccine clinical trial.

The public education will subsequently be carried out in the Volta, Brong Ahafo and the Upper East Regions.

The exercise is aimed at disabusing the minds of Ghanaians against the perception that the vaccine trial will end up spreading the Ebola virus in Ghana.

The Health Minister, Alex Segbefia made this known on Tuesday when he appeared before Parliament to explain the rationale behind the intended clinical trial.

Last week, Parliament ordered that the trial be suspended following growing concerns raised by some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the Volta Regional branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some members of Parliament (MPs).

Mr. Segbefia, who was then out of the country, called for an immediate suspension of the exercise with the explanation that Ghanaians were not psychologically ready to undergo the clinical trial.

The Minister in his address to Parliament explained the choice of Hohoe as the center for the clinical trial saying, Hohoe and Kintampo have over the years been sites for clinical trial of vaccines.

He said standard protocol had been followed prior to the approval for the vaccination to take place, but he conceded that despite the rigorous nature of the approval process, the stakeholder consultation that needed to have been done was not thorough enough.

Citi News’ Parliamentary correspondent, Richard Dela Sky reported that the Minister said public education will be based on “what is likely to happen and what is likely not to happen and why we must cooperate with the world in finding a vaccine that is potent enough to deal with the Ebola virus.”

The Minister stressed that not a single test has so far been conducted and the vaccines in question have not been imported yet for the exercise to be carried out.

Alex Segbefia further made it clear that the government will not in any way, at any point, put the lives of Ghanaians at risk.

Source : citifmonline.com