Source: The Herald
Painstaking investigation by The Herald, has revealed that the companies behind the intended Ebola Vaccine trial in the Hohoe Municipality of the Volta Region, set a whopping sum of US$200 million for the experiment, and reports are that Ghanaian officials at the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), and other health technocrats, have collected huge cash to test-run the drugs on their compatriots for cheap mobile phones and a paltry GHC200.
The Ebola Vaccines, were manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, together with Crucell Holland B.V. under their parent company, Johnson & Johnson, and they have been carrying out the first-in-human clinical trials since January, this year.
Company sources at New Brunswick in the US city of New Jersey, are saying millions of dollars have exchanged hands between them and health officials of some African countries, including Ghana, to have the experiment done. Clinical trials, according to Ghanaian insiders, are goldmines pouring millions of United States dollars into the pockets of many Ghanaian health officials.
Indeed, in October 2014, Johnson & Johnson, had announced a US$200 million financial commitment “..to accelerate and significantly expand production of an Ebola vaccine program in development at its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies.”
Johnson & Johnson said, it was “…seeking to share the financial risk of these vaccine and development clinical trial costs by pursuing governmental and non-governmental funding sources”.
In Ghana, names making the rounds as pushing the Ebola drug trials for the multibillion pharmaceutical companies are, those of Delese Mimi Darko, Head of Pharmacovigilance & Clinical Trials at FDA, Prof. Fred Newton Binka, Vice-Chancellor, University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS). The Ho-based University, has
an out campus in Hohoe, where Ebola Research Centre, has been set up.
One Dr. Margaret Kweku, a native of Hohoe, is also mentioned as one of the lead researchers, involved in the Ebola drug trials at Hohoe. The FDA, is currently testing the vaccine before giving the green light for the trial to take off. But other health officials, have already approached students of the Hohoe Midwifery
Training School to volunteer for the trial.
Other names, fiercely championing the experiment are, Pharmacist, Alex Dodoo, who claims to work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) as its Chairman of Global Vaccine Safety Initiative and ex-Health Minister, Joseph Yileh Chireh, now Chairman of the Health Committee in Parliament.