Why a breakthrough in the quest for an effective Ebola vaccine took so long

The preliminary result of a trial of the novel rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola virus vaccine showed 100% vaccine efficacy in preventing Ebola virus in close contacts of infected individuals.

The trials were conducted during the outbreak in Guinea and the vaccine could potentially bring the West African epidemic to an end.

But why has it taken so long to get to this point?

CapeTalk and 702 Presenter Africa Melane spoke with Jens Pedersen Humanitarian Policy Advisor at Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Pedersen argues that global interest in Ebola was delayed because of the hesitance from the international community to recognise the need to develop medical products.

The preliminary results are certainly encouraging. It is a positive sign that, after a lot of investment and attention on Ebola, tools are finally made available.

Jens Pedersen, MSF Humanitarian Policy Advisor

3 reasons for delays in action and effort directed at Ebola vaccination:

1. According to Pedersen, attention was not initially given to Ebola when it broke in West African regions.

He says interest was only shown once the outbreak spread to other parts of Europe and America.

2. Pedersen advises that world organisations were also unprepared for the outbreak, and showed reluctance as a result.

UN, WHO were inherently unprepared and terribly reluctant to respond on the scale needed for this outbreak.

Jens Pedersen, MSF Humanitarian Policy Advisor

3. Local issues, such a conflict and the lack of medical capacity in the affected countries, have also affected the treatment of the virus, according to Pedersen.

There have been a total of 27,748 cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone up to 26 July, with 11,279 reported deaths, although the outcome of many cases is unknown and the toll will be significantly higher.

Pedersen says the next step is to make the vaccine available to Sierra Leone and Liberia and to further develop the drug to population scale and pharmaceutical access levels.

Listen to the full conversation, with Africa Melane standing in, on The Redi Tlhabi Show:


Read More
Adam Habib: Where would the money to fund free education come from?

Adam Habib: Where would the money to fund free education come from?

Vice-Chancellor of Wits University Adam Habib says Zuma's promise requires about R40 billion in order to be fulfilled.

[LISTEN] 'I never wanted to be President, I was not ambitious'

[LISTEN] 'I never wanted to be President, I was not ambitious'

Listen to what President Zuma had to say on Friday at the #ANC54 Gala Dinner ahead of the elective conference.

NDZ loses out on 27 votes ahead of ANC elective conference

NDZ loses out on 27 votes ahead of ANC elective conference

Political analyst Karima Brown says the ANC may have to recount votes and delay the announcement of president at the conference.

'Zuma's judgments reveal how he has attempted to defend the indefensible'

'Zuma's judgments reveal how he has attempted to defend the indefensible'

Eusebius Mckaiser spoke to journalist Karyn Maughan and law professor James Grant about Zuma and the role of the law in politics.

Van Damme: De Lille has until Monday to respond to maladministration claims

Van Damme: De Lille has until Monday to respond to maladministration claims

The DA has suspended Patricia de Lille from party activities but Eusebius McKaiser says its statement 'is clear as mud'.

Publisher Melinda Ferguson snatches Lit Quiz championship title

Publisher Melinda Ferguson snatches Lit Quiz championship title

Publisher Melinda Ferguson and book distributor Nonkululeko Magi-Africa battled it out during the monthly Literature Quiz.

Popular articles
This tech institute forges top coding talent in SA - for free

This tech institute forges top coding talent in SA - for free

WeThinkCode funds top human talent with the potential to become the future coders of SA, despite their background or experience.

Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi opens up about his thesis

Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi opens up about his thesis

Ndlozi explains the significance of the the first chapter of his thesis: 'Trauma in the archives'.

German prosecutors probing Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste (for accounting fraud)

German prosecutors probing Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste (for accounting fraud)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Steinhoff International Chairperson Christo Wiese.

Happy 50th birthday, Pick n Pay (congrats on growing your bottom line by 18%)!

Happy 50th birthday, Pick n Pay (congrats on growing your bottom line by 18%)!

50 years ago the retailer started out when Raymond Ackerman bought three tiny stores from Click founder Jack Goldin.

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

Wits associate professor of economics Christopher Malikane speaks to Azania Mosaka about the term that is being bandied about.

Is it normal to have a curved penis? Dr Shingai explains

Is it normal to have a curved penis? Dr Shingai explains

Urologist Dr Shingai Mutambirwa says penile curvature is only a concern if it impedes a man's ability to have penetrative sex.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's simply did not do her job as  AU chair - analyst

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's simply did not do her job as AU chair - analyst

Analysts weigh-in with very different views on Dlamini Zuma's failures and achievements as chairperson of the African Union.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?