The Supervising Minister of Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, Monday disclosed that Nigeria is set to follow internationally-approved protocols to commence clinical trial of Ebola vaccines developed by its researchers and some of the candidate vaccines currently in the global medicine community. The trial might require testing of the drugs on humans following laid-down international protocols.
Alhassan, who made this revelation at the launch of surveillance and operation vehicles for Ebola virus, other diseases and emergency responses in Abuja Monday, said the clinical trial of the drugs was based on the advice of the Treatment Research Group set up at the heat of the Ebola virus outbreak in Nigeria. He said government’s efforts to strengthen a number of its reference laboratories spread across the six geographical regions to facilitate diagnosis of diseases.
He said: “The EVD outbreak has also re-enforced the need to strengthen the infection prevention and control practices as well as research in the country. “As such, through the advice of the Treatment Research Group, which was inaugurated to guide the ministry on research into preventive and curative treatments for EVD, we are also preparing to begin clinical trials on some candidate EVD vaccines. In this regard and it is our commitment to work together with all stakeholders to ensure that these studies are conducted in ways that are ethical, ensuring maximum possible protection for the research participants and their communities accordingly.”
He, therefore, called on states to strengthen their surveillance and preparedness in the event of any disease emergency in the country. “We are here today to launch these vehicles to support surveillance and emergency preparedness and response activities. The vehicles shall be stationed at some of our key ports of entry and also used to communicate between operations centres and surveillance offices within and across states.