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Governments must finance research for Ebola treatments – UN

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EbolaA task force of the United Nations says there is an urgent need for long term financial commitments by governments, to finance research and develop treatments against Ebola and other neglected diseases.

The final report of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal Task force, charged to monitor the world’s progress on MDG 8 – the global partnership for development, said in its final report that there is a lesson to be learnt from the neglect of Ebola and the scale and impact of the latest outbreak.

“Ebola is not a new disease. There have been outbreaks since 1976. However, restricted publicly financed research and the current patent system have not delivered the innovation needed”, the report said.

The report says it took a long time for the vaccines for the disease to be tested, a key reason being the lack of expected returns on investment into research and treatments.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the largest ever, recorded over 28,000 cases and over 11,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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