Sep
01

THE AFRICAN UNION MUST TAKE THE EBOLA ISSUE TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL

THE AFRICAN UNION MUST TAKE THE EBOLA CASE TO THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL

By CAMERON DUODU

EBOLA is truly terrifying. The reason is that even killer malaria does NOT slay the doctors and nurses who try to cure it. But Ebola does. ?
Only intensified scientific research can find a cure for Ebola. But unfortunately, there are two types of scientist in the world: those who are so concerned about the pain and death caused to humans by illness that they will even sacrifice their own lives to try and cure deadly diseases, and those who will use their scientific skill to kill humans on the orders of a government made up of people endowed with the same universal human rights as those they want to kill.
I wonder ho many Ghanaians who walk past the Noguchi Institute in Ghana know about the scientist after whom the institute is named? He was Dr Hideyo Noguchi, who helped to find a way of inoculating humans against yellow fever. He died whilst carrying out research in Accra and Lagos in 1927-28.
But there are other types of scientists who, for money, prestige or “patriotic” reasons, will use human beings to carry out research to hurt or kill humans. Notable among these is Dr Wouter Basson, a.k.a. “Dr Death”, who developed bio-chemical weapons for the apartheid regime of South Africa, some of which were meant to kill only Africans. Scientists with a similarly racist mentality also surfaced in the United States, where in 1972, it was revealed that a group at the Tuskegee Institute had, for decades, been using poor African-American share-croppers in to test drugs against the terrible disease of syphilis.
Anyone aware of what some scientists can do will be remiss in not asking: since it is reported that some in the scientific community are suggesting that the current Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia may have originated from “a toddler” who ate an infected bat and got infected with the Ebola virus, why had bats waited until 2014 to transmit the disease to humans, when Africans had mercilessly been putting bats – and other game animals — on their menu, for ever?
Another question is this: since scientists from Tulane University, in New Orleans, USA, had been carrying out research for about 10 years in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, into haemorrhagic fevers, including Lassa and Ebola, why has no-one officially associated the research they were carrying out with the Ebola outbreak?
The only [indirect] indication that something may have gone amiss with research in the three countries comes from this Reuter report about the US Government stopping its funding of the research. (Reuters is one of the most reputable and accurate news-gathering organisation in the world), Here is the Reuters report:
QUOTE: Exclusive: U.S. cuts resources for project involved in Ebola battle in Sierra Leone
BY TONI CLARKE
Washington Thu Aug 7, 2014 4:04pm EDT
(Reuters) – The U.S. government will not renew funding for a major research project into Lassa fever, a decision that will, in turn, cut resources for a facility in Sierra Leone that is at the forefront of the current battle against the Ebola virus.
The National Institutes of Health rejected a proposal from New Orleans-based Tulane University to renew the five-year contract, which expires in November, according to a July 30 letter from NIH reviewed by Reuters. The expiring contract is worth $15 million.
NIH declined to comment on the decision, citing “federal governmentprocurement integrity rules.” [emphasis added].
The facility, at Kenema Government Hospital, was set up a decade ago to test and treat Lassa fever. Now it is being used to treat patients stricken with Ebola. [emphasis added] Both are haemorrhagic fevers caused by distinct families of viruses. Ebola is the most lethal, leading to death in up to 90 percent of cases. [Reuters adds that the project “also spends $100,000 a year on a laboratory in Irrua, southern Nigeria. The lab diagnosed the first case of Ebola in that country. It is not currently treating any patients”.]
Last week, the [Kenema] facility’s director and chief physician, Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, died after becoming infected with Ebola. Its head nurse and two other nurses have also died, and some other staff are sick. The Ebola outbreak, the worst ever recorded, has killed 932 people across Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
As part of the Tulane research project, which was designed to identify diagnostics and treatment for Lassa, researchers support the Kenema facility, which has a 5,500 square foot laboratory and similarly-sized hospital ward. Blood samples from infected patients are used to develop tests and diagnostics.[emphasis added]
Funds from the Tulane project support most of the facility’s operations, including $100,000 a year to supplement meagre government salaries received by some 30 staff – including doctors, nurses, lab technicians and field workers – said Robert Garry, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Tulane, who heads the program. The program also supplies laboratory equipment, including protective garments, pipettes, and all materials needed to analyse blood samples.
It is unclear whether the facility will be able to raise funds from other sources to replace the Tulane project money.
In the letter to Tulane, a contracting officer for the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Liem Nguyen, said the proposal had been rejected “based on technical factors, scientific priority, [emphasis added] and availability of funds.”
The proposal, the letter added, “falls short of those considered by NIAID to offer the best opportunities for the most successful accomplishment of the acquisition objectives.”
NIH declined to provide further comment on the matter.
The Sierra Leone facility’s resources are strained, members of Tulane’s team say. Dr Daniel Bausch, an associate professor in Tulane’s tropical medicine department, who was at the facility for three weeks in July, said last week that constant fatigue among overworked and poorly trained workers may have led to mistakes. He saw some staff not wearing protective suits. The number of patients in the ward has topped 50, far outstripping its capacity. UNQUOTE
Now, I am constrained to ask: is it unreasonable to suspect that the US Government now wants, for reasons best known to itself, to dissociate itself from the research? Does it know something it is not prepared to share with the rest of the world? I ask these questions because it seems to be extremely callous of the US Government to be cutting off funds from a research project it has hitherto been happily funding, at a crucial time when the facility’s efforts are most in demand! If research into diseases like Ebola is not a scientific priority now (as the NIH claims) then when will it be? Even if it was really done for budgetary reasons alone, does the US Government not realise that the timing of the announcement on funding can give rise to the worst forms of speculation, to say the least?
There are so many questions to answer that a group of doctors from French-speaking Africa have asked the African Union to urge the United Nations Security Council to set up an international investigatory commission – comprising both African scientists and non-Africans, to investigate the origins not only of Ebola, but also of HIV/Aids. A prominent Ghanaian doctor, who has been promoting the idea of a Think Tank for the Ghana medical profession, has circulated the proposal by the French-speaking doctors to Ghanaian doctors, presumably with a view to getting them to support the proposal for a UN enquiry.
Another question is this: given all the circumstances surrounding this Ebola outbreak and the panic it is causing, had the same circumstances been found to relate to a research project operating in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, or Birmingham (England) or Toulouse, in France, would the authorities not investigate the operational methods being used at the facility? Would the scientists there be allowed to go unchallenged as they uttered inanities about the consumption of trout or pheasants? Why do people like the WHO and even the Red Cross appear to operate with different criteria when it comes to the outbreak of diseases in Africa?
Well, we do have an African Union and we do have scientists operating in the West who are of African descent. Some of the latter are so incensed by what they believe is “racist science” in the West that they have called on the AU to ask the UN Security Council to order an investigation into the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. They also want an investigation into the outbreak of HIV/Aids in Africa.
it won’t surprise anyone if the AU does nothing. It would just go to show that the organisation is bent onremaining to be an irrelevant entity of the sort that Ghanaian call Simpa Panin or Opanintoto.(an ”elder” or a senior official who sleeps on the job).
ends

 

Aug
30

WHAT’S TO BE DONE ABOUT THE EBOLA EMERGENCY?

What Is To Be Done About The Ebola Emergency In West Africa?

Daily Guide August 30, 2014

Cameron Doudu

PANIC has set in to undermine the efforts being made by the governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, to combat the terrible Ebola outbreak in their countries.

The government of Liberia, for instance, went overboard to quarantine the district of West Point, in Monrovia city. (This has now been lifted.)  No-one needs to point out that imposing quarantine in an urban setting is both dangerous and ineffective. No wonder there were instances of  rioting reported in Monrovia.

camp2

The quarantine imposed on parts of the Liberian countryside is no better. It will prevent medical assistance and, in some cases, food supplies, being taken  to the quarantined areas. Conversely, urban areas which depend on the rural areas for food will also be  seriously affected. In counties already suffering from inflation, that is a blow the citizens could well do without. But even worse, the quarantine will force people to congregate together in larger numbers whenever food or other supplies arrive to be shared. And it will present a chaotic situation to government or NGO health personnel who try to tend sick people or seek to implement measuresmto  prevent  the spreading of Ebola.

President Johnson Sirleaf, one of the most enlightened leaders in Africa, says she is suspending the constitutional rights of Liberian citizens for 90 days, to combat the pandemic. Obviously, she is doing this because she believes that force must at times be needed to implement some of the measures her government is using to combat the Ebola outbreak.

But even though her suspension of some of Liberians’ constitutional rights is made in good faith, it is not a wise decision. For it will only increase fear in the country. People will go away with the perception that the government is acting that way because things are too desperate to be brought under control. And such a feeling will only go to increase the panic felt by the populace.

More worrying is the fact that on the ground, very little appears to have been done to reassure the people that that the inadequate health facilities in Liberia are being urgently revamped to cope with the new emergency. Liberians, with some justification, will come to believe that the situation will get worse before it gets better. How absolutely depressing that must be for them.

In Sierra Leone, too, fear has gripped the population. The government has announced that anyone who helps to conceal those suspected of having contracted Ebola, will face two years imprisonment. Yet, as in Liberia, health facilities are patchy. Even Medecins Sans Frontieres, one of the bravest humanitarian organisations in the world (its forte is to send doctors into areas of danger where normal medical personnel don’t dare to operate) is said to be withdrawing many of its staff from Sierra Leone. And the World Health Organisation (WHO) is in no better position, either.

In fact, whilst the West African governments are sinking under the weight of their own helplessness, the outside world does not appear to be doing much to help them.

 

 Air France has been told by the French government not to fly to Sierra Leone any more. Some other airlines have similarly decided to avoid both Sierra Leone and Liberia. This will only worsen the situation for the two countries. It means that medical personnel and medical supplies, in the rare case of being made available, cannot be flown speedily on the aircraft of the Airlines concerned to go and assist in the ‘quarantined’ countries.

France should answer this question: it is a member of the WHO, and the WHO has said clearly that it is not necessary to stop flights to countries affected by Ebola, so long as strict vigilance is exercised at airports to spot persons who have possibly been stricken by Ebola. So why is France ordering Air France not to go to Sierra Leone, while apparently allowing the same Airline to go to Guinea?

The role of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in all this has also been confusing. The organisation has declared the Ebola outbreak as a ‘health emergency’. But it has not put into place any radical plan to URGENTLY mobilise world-wide medical assistance for the countries being crippled by the disease. The WHO should, by now, have asked countries capable of providing assistance, to fly personnel and supplies in huge quantities to the stricken countries.

It is no secret that the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China have all got units of medical personnel who are experts in fighting against nuclear and chemical-warfare attacks. The armed forces of all these countries incorporate trained units that are on standby to be flown into danger areas, if and when their territories are attacked with nuclear or chemical weapons. These well-equipped, highly-trained personnel can be given emergency instruction on how to change their techniques to combat Ebola. They can then be flown to the epicentres of the disease and practise the same safe methods of providing medical care to disease victims, which they would carry out if a nuclear or chemical attack occurred. In fact, the Ebola attack could provide them with useful practical experience in fighting dangerous illnesses.

Why are the advanced countries not doing it? Ask me another.

What makes the inaction of these countries – especially the United States – more puzzling is that the USA was actually carrying out a research programme into haemorrhagic fevers, such as Lassa and Ebola (under a contract awarded to Tulane University and other groups of scientists worth about $300m) in the three countries that constitute the Mano River basin (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea) before the outbreak began. Whatever the three countries have, or have not, contributed to American medical research, the fact that they were willing to allow the Americans to carry out medical research in their territory, places a MORAL DUTY on the United States in particular to lend them a hand to fight a terrible scourge like Ebola.

I am certain that if it was tasked to do so, the United States Army could fly fully-equipped, ready-made personnel isolation structures to the three countries. And, of course, it could take the health carers there, the latex gloves and sealed uniforms, without which no-one can safely go near an Ebola patient.

By Cameron Duodu

Aug
26

WHEN FOOTBALL BECOMES WAR

SO WE ARE NOT THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT FOOTBALL MEANS WAR?

By CAMERON DUODU

NEWS REPORT: QUOTE:Cameroonian striker Albert Ebosse has died after being hit by an object thrown by fans at a game in Algeria. Ebosse, who was 24, was declared dead after being taken to hospital in Tizi Ouzou, east of the capital, Algiers. [Ebosse scored the only goal for his team] JS Kabylie … who were defeated 2-1 at home in a league encounter by USM Alger. Ebosse was hit when spectators started throwing objects from the stands, as the teams left the pitch at full-time.END QUOTE

First of all, let’s get one thing straight: Ebossse could not have been killed by objects thrown by his team’s adversaries, because it was the opposing team that WON the match. Not only that – it would be suicidal for a visiting team’s supporters to throw objects at the players of their adversaries on the adversaries’ home ground, wouldn’t it?

So it stands to reason that Ebosse was killed by his own team’s supporters! Now, why would they do that – to the only player who, in fact, scored for them during the match?

No – it is difficult to dismiss the possibility that racism played a part in the deadly attack against Ebosse. He was a pure black Cameroonian, whereas many Algerians consider themselves to be white, or “nearly-white”! Unfortunately, even if the Algeria authorities discover racist motives in the attack, they won’t admit it, for it would go against the grain of Algeria’s valiant position in Africa’s anti-colonial struggle.

The sad affair eloquently illustrates the fact that many people consider football as more of a “war” than a game. It brings to mind, some of the football encounters between my village and the other villages nearby.

There were some particularly nasty matches called “shabo-shabo” in which the sides were not necessarily drawn from the “villages” playing at all, but were largely constituted by mercenaries hired from big towns nearby.

Asiakwa Eleven, for instance, used to surreptitiously hire players from Koforidua or Tafo (where the Rovers team was full of talent because its ranks were swollen by “WACRI” [West African Cacao Research Institute] employees. We didn’t know who really constituted the teams of such rivals as Kibi Eleven, either, and we expected its ranks benefited from players studying at Abuakwa State College, or the “Addo Kwaata” commercial college in the town. The suspicion that we were playing mercenaries, not “native townspeople”, lent an extra edge to the rivalries that marked matches between us.

Because our team was happy to bend the rules of the game and knew that its opponents did the same, no quarter was given on the field. If we were playing at home, the first thing we did was to find a referee who would be “sympathetic” to us. We would normally choose a school-teacher (preferably, a “Games Master”) and use a respected patron of our team to go and corrupt him before the match. Usually, he would be promised a “sweetheart” or, if he was not the romantic type, hard cash. Sometimes we bought a chicken for the guy. Anyway, it would all be done in a very diplomatic manner, so that the guy would not feel guilty.

Once this referee had accepted our subtle bribe, he would take decisions on the field that baffled our opponents. One of these was the strange rule we had cleverly evolved, that decreed that “seven corners make one goal”!

What?

Yes – if, during the match, one of our strikers got near the goalmouth of our opponents, he would deliberately not try to score, but rather kick the ball at one of our opponents defenders. If the ball hit him and went into touch behind the goal-posts, it would be a corner. Now, if our strikers managed to obtain seven consecutive corners against our opponents, the referee would point to the centre-spot and declare that we had scored a goal, because “seven corners make one goal!”

Of course, the opposing players would argue strongly that this was not in the rules of the game. Whereupon, our referee, backed vociferously by our team and its home supporters (who would invade the pitch at the slightest sign of a dispute!) would repeat the refrain that “’the referee’s decision is final”.

Normally, the opposing side would threaten to leave the field rather than succumb to the dictates of a referee who was so “partial” that he invented his own rules whilst officiating in a match. So we only gave the referee the signal to invoke that rule when we were quite certain we would lose the game.

But sometimes, even a bribed referee would think it too blatant to implement the strange rule that “seven corners make one goal”. Well, if he did that, he would be threatened – if he had taken money, it would be demanded back. If he had been promised a “sweetheart” after the match, he would sleep alone that night!

As for the opposing team, if they chose to withdraw from the field, we would chase them, and beat them up. We could also provoke a fight on the field of play by asking them to pay back any contribution we had made to their transport costs! They would normally refuse to give us any money back – and so we fought them.

Now, when we were playing away, we couldn’t implement our own rules, so the only weapon available to us would be to withdraw from the field of play, if we suspected that some cunny-cunny (cunning) rule had been applied against us by a partial referee. But marching off the field in anger was not without its own dangers.

We had to be extremely fast whilst trying to make it to our lorry after abandoning a match! If we found that through bad luck, our lorry driver was not around but had gone to look for some palm-wine or akpeteshie to drink, on the reasonable assumption that the match would last the full 90 minutes, we would have hell to pay for. You see, the promoters of village football matches often had to pay money to employ labourers to fence the football pitch with palm fronds and bamboo, in order to be able to collect gate fees. And those who had paid to come and watch the match would be seriously looking for the promoters! And the promoters had a word or two to tell us. So it was usually WAR!

We would sing self-adulatory songs on our way back home:

LEAD SINGERS: We are we! We are we! We are we!

CHORUS: We are we! (Repeat)

LEAD SINGERS: No-one can match us!

CHORUS: We are we!…

And so on. One of our songs even compared us to “the speedy doves of the skies”:

Mmoroma eeeei, eeee ee,

Mmoroma eei! (Repeat)

Asiakwa mmoroma eee

Yenam

Na sena obiara nntumi yen!

(Asiakwa doves, we are flying! And no-one could us! In anything that we do!)

No one could us?”

Yes! You see, in the Twi language, the equivalent of the word can is an active verb, not an auxiliary verb that needs another in order to complete the idea it wants to convey. So if someone annoys you, you merely ask him, Can you me? (Not can you beat/match/equal me.) It is in fact the Twi equivalent of the recently-famous rhetorical question in English: “Are you my co-equal?”

By the way, before “tweaa!” and “co-equal” became household words in recent times, there was a dance, notoriously danced in Kumasi by a CPP woman, called (Ithink) Madam Banda which went by the name, “Wobetumi me?” [Can you me?] The woman, danced it triumphantly outside a court in Kumasi, after she’d been acquitted of a charge brought against her by her political opponents!

It is our propensity to see football in terms of war that has persuaded many to believe that Ghana should be “Co-World-Champions with Germany” as a result of lour efforts in the World Cup of 2014 in Brazil.

The reasoning is this: if we had walked off the pitch in the Ghana-versus-Germany match as soon as Ghana went ahead of Germany by 2 goals to 1. , we would have WON the match. Morally.

If we were kicked out of the competition for doing that, so what? We would still have got the whole world to know that since we were leading Germany by 2 goals to 1 before the match was abandoned, we were, the real World Champions. If the world would not agree to that, it should at least accept that we were the only co-equals of the Germans in the tournament. When we foolishly stayed on the pitch, we still managed to draw with Germany 2-2! So if they are World Champions, they should understand that they do have co-equals – us! We are de facto Co-World Champions., whether anyone likes it or not!

Q.E.D. 

Aug
24

WHY IS THE NPP SHOOTING ITSELF IN THE FOOT?

Why Is The NPP Shooting Itself In The Foot?

Daily Guide August 23, 2014

Cameron Doudu

Few governments pay attention to what the opposition says.

For instance, what has the Ghana opposition – both in Parliament and outside – not said about GYEEDA’s stolen millions? Or the guinea fowls that SADA sent into exile in Burkina Faso?  To say nothing of the contracts awarded to some organisations to collect revenue for the state, but which fetched the alleged revenue collectors millions of cedis upfront before any work had actually been done?

If  an opposition sees such things and rails against them and the only answer it gets is silence – because the government’s motto is Yenntie obiara! (we won’t listen to anyone!)– its members can become quite frustrated. Inside political parties, too, office-seekers who are constantly snubbed by their own party can end up being frustrated.

Now, frustration is a dangerous situation for human beings to be placed in. It can make them destructive.

I classify the verbal attacks made against Nana Akufo-Addo over the appearance of thugs at the NPP headquarters in Accra to disrupt some of the activities of the party’s General Secretary, as a symptom of self-destructive frustration. Asked what evidence he had for making such a charge against Nana Addo, one of Nana Addo’s critics was reported to have said that he had no evidence but was depending on his “common sense” in coming to the conclusion that Nana Addo was to blame.

I found this argument to be quite rich! For not very long ago, the Ghanaian media were full of accusations, some of them gleefully presented, claiming that this very  individual who said he depended on “common sense” in accusing Nana Addo of organising  thuggery, had got himself into trouble abroad.

The guy went back to his base to try to use evidence, not “common sense”, to exculpate himself. Yet when it came to Nana Addo’s case, he eschewed evidence in favour of  what called “common sense”! What could bring about such an illogical situation in the mind of an educated person but the bitterness borne out of frustration?

For let me ask this: of what use would organising thugs to disrupt the press conference of the General Secretary be to Nana Addo? Would that stop a headstrong guy like the General Secretary from pursuing whatever agenda he has embarked upon with others, openly to scuttle Nana Addo’s chances of winning once more, the nomination to be the NPP’s flag-bearer?

Is the use of thuggery not too obvious a tactic – and a self-defeating one at that, since two can play at that game – to be resorted to by a renowned lawyer like Nana Addo,  who has been his country’s Attorney-General, to use to try and squelch a recalcitrant official within his own party? What about getting the other members of the executive to repudiate or nullify  the General Secretary’s autocratic methods? Or does Nana Addo not know, after so many years of organising his party to support his bid for the presidency, exactly how to show the door – politely – to someone who refuses to play by the rules of party organisation?

The general membership of the NPP should realise that democracy is a difficult system to respect and cherish. It depends on persuasion, which is the exact opposite of how some people in Ghana want to do things. Their method is called patapaa, which means imposing one’s will on others. It is easier than persuasion, for whereas with persuasion, the onerous task is to walk and talk, walk and talk, sometimes during the night, patapaa resorts to  fiats: “Hey! I say this! And you all must obey!”

Now, political parties do exist which are organized on the lines of patapaa. Such parties are usually described as fascist, not democratic.

The NPP has, so far, shown no signs of being a fascist party, and I am sure it will resist any attempts to introduce fascism into the party. But in order to do so, it must exercise the utmost vigilance.

For it is fascistic, or at any rate autocratic, for an individual office-holder, in alliance with others,  to take decisions that are of such consequence that they ought to be the province of the party’s executive committee as a whole.

At the very least, important decisions, even if they are within the ambit of office–holders, must be taken in consultation with the executive committee.

What all NPP “leaders” who are tempted to “show where power lies” ought to know is that the NPP is not the only party in which there are factions. In the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, for instance, Margaret Thatcher was so angry with those  those who opposed her ultra-right-wing policies that she insulted them by calling them   “wets”.

In the UK Labour Party too,  fierce struggles have regularly occurred between the would-be Conservative, the left-wing and the ultra-left!

Yet, at election time, the factions within the parties come together and rally round their parties’ manifestos, in order to get their party elected. In other words, they submerge their differences for the greater good of their parties. Even when get into power, they try to form “coalition cabinets” which take note of the various “interests” in the party,  so as not to allow their ideological differences to wreck their governments’ chances of achieving success in office, and being re-elected

The duty of the executive committee of the NPP is clear: bring discipline into the party NOW and thereby restore unity, or perish the thought of winning the 2016 election and coming to power. Please take a look at the sad state of Ghana’s economy today, and ask yourselves whether it is not foolish and self-indulgent to engage in petty internecine squabbles that strengthen those that are throttling your country’s economy?Are  you really  so naive that you do not know that the NDC can make use  of   your  superficial attempts to achieve personal vain-glory to    infiltrate your ranks and wreck your chances of achieving power?

When your country is gasping desperately for breath, as it is being so suffocated in rivers of economic incompetence that it is seeking to place its neck in the IMF noose, is that the time to be exhibiting arrogance and egotistical pig-headedness?

Sure, no one can prevent you guys from shooting yourselves in the foot. But please, if you do that with your eyes open, don’t expect your country to show you any sympathy whatsoever.

Aug
21

UPDATED: QUESTIONS ABOUT EBOLA THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT MUST ANSWER URGENTLY

UPDATED: QUESTIONS ABOUT EBOLA THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT MUST ANSWER URGENTLY

By CAMERON DUODU

Since the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the health authorities in the United States have, admirably, been very calm and matter-of-fact in their advice to their citizens resident in, or visiting, West Africa.

They have clearly told Americans that Ebola can only be contracted by touching a person who has already been infected with, or died from, the disease.

They say that “human to human transmission [of Ebola] is only achieved by physical contact with a person who is acutely and gravely ill from the Ebola virus, or their body fluids” and that such transmission “is almost exclusively among caregiver family members, or health care workers tending the very ill”.

The advice distributed by US embassies in West Africa further points out further that  “If you are walking around, you are not infectious to others. You cannot contract Ebola by handling money, buying local bread or swimming in a pool. There is no medical reason to stop flights, close borders, restrict travel or close embassies, businesses or schools….. You will not contract Ebola if you do not touch a person dying from Ebola.”

But while being so commendably frank about how Ebola CANNOT be contracted, it appears the Americans have not quite levelled with the rest of the world – and especially the Governments of West Africa – about research that American scientists had been carrying out in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone on haemorrhagic fevers including Lassa and Ebola,  before the current outbreak of Ebola in that area, and which might accidentally spread Ebola, if it went wrong.

One report on the Internet headlined: “What are US Biological Warfare Researchers Doing in the Ebola Zone? By Jon Rappoport” (Global Research 2 Aug 2014 jonrappoport.wordpress.com/) calls for:

QUOTE: … “an immediate, thorough, and independent investigation of Tulane University [USA] researchers and their Fort Detrick associates in the US bio-warfare research community, who have been operating in West Africa during the past several years. What exactly have they been doing?

Exactly what diagnostic tests have they been performing on citizens of Sierra Leone?

Why do we have reports that the Sierra Leone Government has recently told Tulane researchers to stop this testing? Have Tulane researchers and their associates attempted any experimental treatments (e.g., injecting monoclonal antibodies) using citizens of the region? If so, what adverse events have occurred?

The research program, occurring in Sierra Leone, the Republic of Guinea, and Liberia—… the epicentre of the 2014 Ebola outbreak—has the announced purpose, among others, of detecting the future use of fever-viruses as bio-weapons. Is this purely defensive research? Or as we have seen in the past, is this research being covertly used to develop offensive bio-weapons?

For the last several years, researchers from Tulane University have been active in the African areas [Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia] where Ebola [has] broken out in 2014. These researchers are working with other institutions, one of which is USAMRIID, the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, a well-known centre for bio-war research, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

In Sierra Leone, the Tulane group has been researching new diagnostic tests for haemorrhagic fevers. [Note: Lassa Fever, Ebola, and other labels are applied to a spectrum of illness that result in haemorrhaging.]

“Tulane researchers have also been investigating the use of monoclonal antibodies as a treatment for these fevers—but not on-site in Africa, according to Tulane press releases. Here are excerpts from supporting documents. Tulane University, Oct. 12, 2012, “Dean’s Update: Update on Lassa Fever Research”:

In 2009, researchers received a five-year $7,073,538 grant from the National Institute of Health to fund the continued development of detection kits for Lassa viral haemorrhagic fever. …Since that time, much has been done to study the disease. Dr. Robert Garry, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Dr. James Robinson, Professor of Pediatrics, have been involved in the research of Lassa fever.

“Together the two have recently been able to create what are called human monoclonal antibodies. … These antibodies have been tested on guinea pigs at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and shown to help prevent them from dying of Lassa fever… Most recently, a new Lassa fever ward is being constructed in Sierra Leone, at the Kenema Government Hospital. When finished, it will be better equipped to assist patients affected by the disease and will hopefully help to end the spread of it.” [The Kenema Hospital is one of the centres of the Ebola outbreak.]

Here is another release from Tulane University, this one dated Oct. 18, 2007.: “New Test Moves Forward to Detect Bio-terrorism Threats.”

The initial round of clinical testing has been completed for the first diagnostic test kits that will aid in bio-terrorism defence against a deadly viral disease. Tulane University researchers are collaborating in the project.

Robert Garry, professor of microbiology and immunology at Tulane University, is principal investigator in a federally-funded study to develop new tests for viral haemorrhagic fevers. Corgenix Medical Corp., a worldwide developer and marketer of diagnostic test kits, announced that the first test kits for detection of haemorrhagic fever have completed initial clinical testing in West Africa.

The kits, developed under a $3.8 million grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health, involve work by Corgenix in collaboration with Tulane University, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, BioFactura Inc. and Autoimmune Technologies.

Clinical reports from the studies in Sierra Leone continue to show amazing results,” says Robert Garry, professor of microbiology and immunology at the Tulane University School of Medicine…“We believe this remarkable collaboration will result in detection products that will truly have a meaningful impact on the healthcare in West Africa, but will also fill a badly needed gap in the bio-terrorism defence.…The clinical studies are being conducted at the Mano River Union Lassa Fever Network in Sierra Leone. Tulane, under contract with the World Health Organization, implements the program in the Mano River Union countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea) to develop national and regional prevention and control strategies for Lassa fever and other important regional diseases….

Clinical testing on the new recombinant technology demonstrates that our collaboration is working,” says Douglass Simpson, president of Corgenix. “We have combined the skills of different parties, resulting in development of some remarkable test kits in a surprisingly short period of time. As a group, we intend to expand this program to address other important infectious agents with both clinical health issues and threat of bio-terrorism such as Ebola.”

(Is the obvious question here not this:  That if you have been carrying out research into Ebola in a region, and that region suddenly becomes the epicentre of an outbreak of Ebola, you owe it to the world to confirm or deny whether  your research might have contributed something to the outbreak of Ebola there? If you remain stonily  silent in the face of such a fearsome outbreak — especially  in an area known for its strong belief in  superstition — are you not by your silence, encouraging conspiracy theories to emerge of all sorts to be constructed around your work and its relationship to the outbreak of the disease? Is it not in your own enlightened self-interest to answer the questions that every intelligent African is asking? Or is a racist attitude being adopted here? If such an outbreak had occurred in Bethesda, Md. or Las Vegas, Nevada, would those carrying out scientific research there be allowed to remain silent?  Would CNN,  The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other media, remain so absolutely lacking in curiosity about what research into bio-warfare diseases had been going on in those localities, before the outbreak of as deadly a disease as Ebola, there?)

The third document is found on the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and SanitationFacebook page (no login required), dated [July 23, 2014] at 1:35pm. It lays out emergency measures to be taken. We find this curious statement: “Tulane University to stop Ebola testing during the current Ebola outbreak.”

“Why? Are the tests issuing false results? Are they frightening the population? Have Tulane researchers done something to endanger public health?

In addition to an investigation of these matters, another probe needs to be launched into all vaccine campaigns in the Ebola Zone. For example. HPV vaccine programs have been ongoing. Vials of vaccine must be tested to discover ALL ingredients. Additionally, it’s well known that giving vaccines to people whose immune systems are already severely compromised is dangerous and deadly.” UQUOTE

There are enough questions in this article for the US health authorities and the US Defence Department — sponsors of the research in the Mano River basin –  to issue an IMMEDIATE and TRUTHFUL statement on what Tulane University and its associates have been doing in the very region from which Ebola has broken out and is in danger of affecting many other countries. (Tulane University may be bound by its contract terms not to say anything to the public unless authorised by its sponsors to do so. However, if it has agreed to such terms in its contract, it is open to question whether those terms are ethical, given the fact that the research is clearly meant to occur within foreign populations.)

All said and done, it is remiss of the US Government — in the age of the Wikileaks and the Snowden leaks that have created an enormous credibility gap between the public and the US Government –  not to anticipate that the research being done in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia would inevitably  be linked to the current Ebola outbreak, and that the only reasonable thing to do is to issue a statement to avoid panicking the populations of those countries and their neighbours.

The WHO too, while deserving praise for what it doing to help the countries in which Ebola has broken out,  must acknowledge and recognise its duty to tell the world  everything  it knows about these tests in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia and explain why it has not made the world aware of them up till now!

Is the  WHO totally convinced that full ethical standards have been met by the Tulane scientists during this outbreak which WHO has classified as an “emergency”? Has it investigated the project at all, and if not, why not? After all, the WHO must be aware that Africaupdated: n scientists have expressed scepticism about some of the more fanciful accounts about the origins of  HIV/Aids;  they speculate, for instance, that HIV/Aids was probably spread initially by infected homosexuals in the US, and was brought to Africa by scientists who wished to find a cure for it. The theory that the disease passed from the African green monkey to humans has been especially discredited, given the fact that Africans had been eating monkeys for f thousands of years, before HIV/Aids ever began to kill people. In fact, the WHO’s role in HIV/Aids research is yet to be fully explained.

We do need answers about Ebola research in West Africa  from the US Government and WHO.

NOW!

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