FDA Doesn�t Control Choice of Place Researchers Want To Use For Ebola Vaccine Trial - PRO

As people from the Volta region are accusing the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for giving approval for the Ebola vaccine trial to be conducted in some parts of the Volta and Brong Ahafo regions, the Public Relations Officer of FDA, James Lartey says it is not in their control to choose the site and the people for the medical trial.

Ghana was expected to begin the Ebola vaccine trials in Hohoe and Kintampo by the end of June.

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Monday gave international pharmaceutical companies, Johnson & Johnson, Bavarian Nordic, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), to commence the trial in the country.

The trials would have informed scientists on effective results regarding the Ebola vaccine.

According to the FDA, the development of the vaccine will benefit the country and will not pose any health threats to the public.

The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences Ho, Professor Fred Binka, who disclosed this to Radio Ghana, said the trial was being supported by the WHO.

Although participants in the voluntary programme will be given Ȼ200.00 and a mobile phone, several Civil Society organizations and the Volta Regional branch of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) have all kicked against the exercise.

Following the massive public outcry, government called for a suspension of the exercise.

But reacting to the delusion of the Ebola vaccine trial on Okay Fm’s "Ade Akye Abia" Morning Show, James Lartey says Ghanaians should be honest to admit that there have been several vaccines in the country which were tried in other countries and Ghana is benefiting from it today.

He again reminded that the medical trial is always carried out on people who are healthy and not on affected patients of Ebola virus; adding that the vaccine is not for cure but rather it is a vaccine for prevention.

Touching on the choice of place and the site for the medical trial, James Lartey revealed that FDA does not have control over the place and the people to be used for the trial as their work is to verify and check the safety of the instrument for the trial before giving approval.

“The choice of Volta region is not under our control but what we do is that you look for your research centre, where you want to do the trial then we will come to inspect the place to check the safety and the instrument to use for the trial before we give approval; so for the venue, the site, we don’t have a say in it,” he stated.

He added that “when we come to the site to see it is not appropriate, we won’t give you approval”.

He however revealed that USA,UK and Mali have already gone through the medical trial of the Ebola vaccine; adding that in Africa, Kenya, Senegal and Tanzania are also going through the trial as it is not only in Ghana.

He insisted the exercise is voluntary as participants can decide to discontinue anytime they change their minds; adding the money involved is compensation while the mobile phones are for communication purposes to constantly check on the participants how they are reacting to the Ebola vaccines.