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Big pharma did not develop Ebola vaccine because it affected 'poor' African nations only: WHO

Criticizing big pharmaceutical companies for their inaction, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reportedly said that no Ebola vaccine has been developed even 40 years after the virus first emerged because it previously affected poor African nations only.

London: Criticizing big pharmaceutical companies for their inaction, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reportedly said that no Ebola vaccine has been developed even 40 years after the virus first emerged because it previously affected poor African nations only.

Dr Margaret Chan, the director-general of the WHO, said that the reason clinicians were "empty-handed" was because "a profit-driven industry does not invest in products for markets that cannot pay," reported The Independent.

She added that the WHO has long complained about lack of investment in both vaccine development and healthcare systems in financially weak states but it had "fallen on deaf ears." The Ebola epidemic has put those arguments along with consequences out there for everyone to see on prime time news every day, she said.

The outbreak has claimed almost 5,000 lives in West Africa and there are signs that the spread of the disease is still increasing in Sierra Leone, one of the three worst-hit nations.

The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 and there have been more than 20 Ebola outbreaks since then. However, they have been on a smaller scale in comparison to the current epidemic.

From Zee News

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