Ebola Test In The Hohoe Municipality
We refer to the Press Release from the Food and Drugs Authority dated 8th June 2015 with the subject, Ghana joins UK, USA and others in search for effective Ebola treatment.
Per the Press Release, approval has been given for one trial of a developed Ebola Vaccine. Our investigations are that the said one trial will take place within the Hohoe Municipality. In as much as we are interested in the advancement of medicine, we are also equally very frightened of how the exercise is being sneaked into Hohoe and for that matter Ghana with little or no community consultation, from either the sponsoring organization, the scientists or even the Food and Drugs Authority.
Since the information of the pending clinical trial came into the media, we have taken the pain to go down to Hohoe to test the readiness of the community for the exercise and it is apparent that little or no community consultation has gone on within the community regarding the exercise, to state the benefits, risks and alternatives vis-à-vis getting the buy in of the populace which is crucial for such an exercise.
Though the Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said that “the vaccine will be harmless on their subjects” and the FDA says the Ebola vaccine trial will not harm Ghanaians with the claim that all the ethical issues have been addressed, nobody has mentioned any of those ethical issues that have supposedly been addressed.
Questions such as the implications of the test in and on the community; likely effects of the vaccine; who the lead persons championing the exercise are; the source of the vaccine, what phases of testing it has gone through and what the results have been and how the Ebola virus itself, in whatever form, will eventually be transported into the municipality, if that is the case, are not answered. We are also appalled that the researchers want to take advantage of the seeming abject poverty within the locality by enticing the populace with paltry sums and mobile phones to partake in the research on humans.
The major stakeholders, i.e, The Traditional rulers, Assemblymen, Youth leaders, Religious leaders, are not aware of why our community has been chosen for this trial. What happened to the Ebola Center with modern medical equipment’s and gadgets established in Tema?
Further, our deliberations with seasoned scientists, research persons, and medical personnel across various platforms all over the world have not given us any comfort to say the least.
The major players including the University of Allied Sciences, the MCE of Hohoe, who is also posited to be the Dean of the Hohoe Campus of the School, have gone quiet. Also the other consequences associated with this test have not, for whatever reason, been clearly enumerated. We wish to inform the powers that be that we are working closely with youth groups in and around the Hohoe Municipality to halt any attempt to continue with this exercise until the major stakeholders within the area have been adequately consulted, educated, and satisfied with safety measures put in place to facilitate the exercise.
Please note that we shall adopt every means at our disposal including but not limited to legal steps to stop this exercise from seeing the light of day in our community in its current state.
Please be CAUTIONED!!!! signed
Cc: Concerned Stakeholders