Guinea: High-level meeting on Ebola vaccines underway in Conakry

Conakry, Guinea (PANA) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, and the Director-General of WHO, Dr Margaret Chan are in Conakry, Guinea, to participate in the high-level meeting on Ebola Vaccines for Guinea and the World.

Organised by WHO in collaboration with the Government of Guinea, the meeting aims to highlight the importance of collaborative efforts and partnerships involving several countries and institutions working in synergy to address important global public health emergencies, according to a statement by WHO Africa Regional Office on Friday.

The meeting will also highlight how this collaboration has contributed to the research and development of new vaccines and the preparation of response to future epidemics. The meeting will celebrate the success of the initial evaluation of the Ebola vaccine candidates.

It is being attended by researchers, academics, public health specialists and partners.

The statement said among the issues to be discussed are: Increasing research and development capacity and experience in vaccine research and development during the 2014-2016 Ebola virus disease epidemic.

In December last year, health experts announced that an experimental Ebola vaccine was highly protective against the deadly virus in a major trial in Guinea, according to results published in the medical journal, The Lancet. The vaccine is the first to prevent infection from one of the most lethal known pathogens, and the findings add weight to early trial results published last year.

The vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, was studied in a trial involving 11,841 people in Guinea during 2015. Among the 5,837 people who received the vaccine, no Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination. In comparison, there were 23 cases 10 days or more after vaccination among those who did not receive the vaccine.

The trial was led by WHO, together with Guinea’s Ministry of Health, Medecins sans Frontieres and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, in collaboration with other international partners.

Since Ebola virus was first identified in 1976, sporadic outbreaks have been reported in Africa. But the 2014–2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak, which resulted in more than 11,300 deaths, highlighted the need for a vaccine.
-0- PANA MA 5May2017

05 may 2017 05:28:15

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