Anger grew citing situations where only Westerners have so far been given the drug
An experimental Ebola treatment is being sent to Liberia for two ill doctors who will become the first Africans to receive the ZMapp
A Spanish priest and two American aid workers are the only people to have received it so far, prompting anger that only Westerners have had a possible treatment for a disease ravaging four African countries.
ZMapp is one of several drugs in development to attempt to stop the deadly outbreak, which has no confirmed cure and has so far killed more than 1,000 people.
More than half of those infected with the highly contagious disease die. It begins with flu-like symptoms and can escalate to vomiting, diarrhoea and internal and external bleeding.
It was unclear how much ZMapp is being sent to Liberia but its American manufacturer, Mapp Biopharmaceutical, said it had already run out of its supply in response to demand from an unidentified West African country.
The serum has not been tested for safety or effectiveness in humans and the company said it would take months to produce even modest quantities.
Company runs out of Ebola Drug (ZMapp) supply
The company that manufactures an experimental Ebola drug said Monday that it had sent the last of the medication to a West African country after receiving a request last week.
“The available supply of ZMapp is exhausted,” Mapp Biopharmaceutical of San Diego said in a statement, adding that it provided the drug at no cost.
Mapp’s disclosure comes amid growing sensitivity over whether West Africans have access to a drug that has been given to some Westerners. But it also underscores that ZMapp and other experimental drugs are in such short supply that the overwhelming number of Ebola victims have no hope of ever receiving them.
Mapp’s statement said the recipients “include medical doctors in two West African countries,” as well as two U.S. missionaries who received the drug in recent weeks. It is not clear what effect the drug is having.
A statement from the office of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday said the Obama administration and U.S. regulators approved a request from the country Friday for doses of the drug to treat Liberian doctors. The release also said Liberia expects to receive “additional doses” of the drug from the World Health Organization this week, also to aid Ebola-stricken doctors.