DRC gives greenlight for use of experimental Ebola medicines

Thursday June 7 2018

WHO, ebola, mbandaka

Nurses working with the WHO prepare to administer an experimental vaccine following an Ebola outbreak in Mbandaka on May 21, 2018. DRC has approved the use of experimental Ebola drugs. AFP PHOTO | JUNIOR KANNAH 

By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI
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The Democratic Republic of the Congo has approved the use of experimental Ebola treatments, the WHO has said.

The approved drugs, Zmapp, GS-5734, REGN monoclonal antibody combination, and mAb114, marks the first time such treatments are available amid the outbreak of the deadly virus in the country.

According to the UN health agency, the trial drugs will be used in hospitals in emergency response settings “under the framework of compassionate use.”

“The treatments can be used as long as informed consent is obtained from patients and protocols are followed, with close monitoring and reporting of any adverse effects,” WHO said on Wednesday.

Four of the five drugs approved are currently in DRC.

The haemorrhagic fever has so far killed 27 people with 37 confirmed cases, 14 probable and seven suspected cases, according to WHO.

DR Congo declared the Ebola outbreak in a remote village near Bikoro in the northwestern Equateur Province a month ago.