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Exclusive: MSF should have called for Ebola vaccine earlier, says assist organisation …

DAKAR/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Medecins Sans Frontiers “wasted time” by watchful too prolonged to call for vaccines to quarrel an rare conflict of Ebola in West Africa, a maestro of a medical gift told Reuters.

The group’s response to a widespread that has so distant killed some-more than 5,000 people has been widely praised by governments and a World Health Organization. While Western donors dithered and other assist groups pulled out, MSF deployed hundreds to a Ebola “hot zones” and treated some-more than 3,000 patients.

But a puncture organisation relied too most on strategies it grown during smaller prior eruptions of a virus, heading it to make mistakes as this year’s prevalent multi-country widespread pushed it to a limits, pronounced Jean-Herve Bradol, a member of MSF’s inner think-tank.

“Our response was too orientated toward a supervision of prior outbreaks,” Bradol, of a Paris-based Centre For Reflection on Humanitarian Action (CRASH), told Reuters, adding that MSF’s open interest for vaccine growth in Sep came months too late.

“We squandered time before vocalization about a vaccine and treatments… It’s really tough to suppose determining this widespread now though a vaccine.”

MSF, famous also as Doctors Without Borders, is a usually classification to have worked extensively with Ebola in a final 20 years. When a outbreak, initial identified in March, started to spread, a organisation focused on determined protocols of isolating patients and tracing their contacts.

At a same time, a organisation – treating patients during a 6 centers in Guinea, adjacent Liberia and Sierra Leone – criticized a slowness of a general response and clashed publicly with a Guinean supervision and a World Health Organization (WHO), that indicted it of alarmism.

Since afterwards a WHO has been widely criticized for a delayed response to a widespread and a early reassurances, notwithstanding warnings from MSF. The United Nations health organisation has pronounced it will tell a full examination of a doing of a widespread once it is underneath control.

Several companies are now accelerating vaccine trials. Two heading candidates, finished by GlaxoSmithKline and NewLinkGenetics, have already started trials in Africa and Europe.

Separately, MSF pronounced on Thursday that clinical trials of 3 intensity new drugs would start in Dec in Guinea and Liberia during medical centers it runs.

The West Africa Ebola widespread has now putrescent some-more than 13,000 people.


MSF was founded in 1971 by a organisation of French doctors and reporters angry by a assist community’s overpower during Nigeria’s besiege and starvation of separatist Biafra.

It prides itself on a speed and independence: with 90 percent of a $1.3 billion tellurian bill saved by a multitude of tiny particular donors MSF does not have to find accede from any singular vital devotee before acting.

The organisation has finished ‘bearing witness’ a pivotal partial of a remit, from critique of a troops junta during a 1985 Ethiopian fast to calls for armed involvement to hindrance a Rwandan genocide in 1994.

That same opinion extends to self-criticism, pronounced Bradol, observant that a subtract of CRASH is to demeanour during what MSF could have finished improved itself.

The stream Ebola conflict has brought reliable hurdles for a group. When Sierra Leone’s inaugural Ebola specialist, Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, lay failing in July, MSF doctors motionless after diligent discussions not to provide him with an initial drug, arguing a effects were different and reserve were wanting so it would be astray to give him absolved care.

But when general medical workers fell ill – including dual European members of MSF’s staff – they were evacuated and given such treatments.

Such incidents sparked discuss within MSF over since initial treatments were not being offering to patients and a internal staff, an rare 15 of whom have died.

“The CRASH said…if we disagree a drugs are not protected since they are initial though we give them to a expatriates, that creates no sense,” Bradol said.


MSF staff complained during a start of a conflict that other assist organizations unsuccessful to assistance provide Ebola. But a other assist groups complained that MSF refused to H2O down a severe reserve protocols by training others.

Since afterwards MSF has common a plans for diagnosis centers and is training non-MSF workers in a core in Brussels. It also authorised staff from other NGOs to shade a workers and use a logistics infrastructure.

Henry Gray, an operations coordinator for MSF-Brussels who worked for dual months in Liberia and Sierra Leone, says a conflict has also forced a organisation to innovate, building watertight physique bags to stop steam of putrescent corporeal fluids and meridian tranquil tents to concede doctors to work longer wearing complicated protecting suits.

MSF has deployed some-more than 700 unfamiliar staff in sum to quarrel Ebola, rotating people by on 6 week stints. With a operation run during a cost of $50 million MSF staff are paid only $2,800 for a nation manager.

“Nobody does this for a money,” pronounced Dr. Darin Portnoy, a long-time MSF proffer from New York operative during an MSF diagnosis core in Monrovia.

(Additional stating by Pascal Fletcher in Johannesburg, Tom Miles in Geneva, Ben Hirschler in London, Joe Bavier in Abidjan, James Harding Giahyue in Monrovia, Saliou Samb in Conakry; Editing by Sophie Walker)

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/14/us-health-ebola-msf-idUSKCN0IY0CI20141114?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

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