Tag Archives: DFID

Untested Ebola drug given to patients in Sierra Leone causes UK walkout

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/22/ebola-untested-drug-patients-sierra-leone-uk-staff-leave
“Use of amiodarone heart drug at Lakka centre in Freetown deemed ‘reckless’ by scientist as 14 medical staff withdraw over safety fears

Ebola patients at a treatment centre in Sierra Leone have been given a heart drug that is untested against the virus in animals and humans, a move that has been deemed reckless by one senior scientist and has prompted UK medical staff at the centre to leave.

A 14-strong team of British doctors, nurses and paramedics stopped working at the Lakka treatment centre in Freetown because of their concerns over what they considered the experimental and potentially dangerous use of the drug, and other safety issues.

The 22-bed treatment centre is run by Emergency, an Italian NGO set up by heart surgeon Gino Strada to bring world-class cardiac surgery to some of the poorest parts of Africa.

Emergency says it wants to give patients the standard of care they would get in Europe, both at its Ebola treatment centre (ETC) at Lakka and at a new 100-bed centre at Goderich in Freetown, built by the British army and funded by the Department for International Development (DfID).

But UK volunteers sent to work in Lakka in late November felt Emergency’s approach was too ambitious and may have contributed to a death rate higher than at some other centres.

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New 15-minute test for Ebola to be trialled in Guinea

http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/News/Media-office/Press-releases/2014/WTP058046.htm

The 15-minute Ebola test is six times faster than similar tests currently in use and aims to speed up the diagnosis of Ebola cases. Early detection of Ebola leads to better infection control as medical staff can identify and isolate confirmed cases of Ebola faster, and start treating patients sooner. Ultimately, a faster test could reduce Ebola transmission and mortality.

The project is supported through a joint Department for International Development (DFID) and Wellcome Trust fund for rapid health research during the Ebola outbreak. The six projects are managed by Enhancing Learning & Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA).

The trial, led by researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, will be deployed using a ‘mobile suitcase laboratory’ which is designed for low-resource settings. The portable laboratory includes a solar panel, a power pack and a results reader which is the size of a small laptop.

The reagents used in the test are available as dried pellets, which are ‘cold-chain-independent’, meaning that they can be used and transported at room temperature. Similarly to the tests currently in use, the new test detects the genetic material of the virus. The pilot trial will test whether the reagents are safe and effective to use with Ebola patients’ blood and saliva samples…