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Guinea thanks Russia for help in fight against deadly Ebola virus

May 23, 2016, 18:55 UTC+3

Guinea’s health minister thanks Russia's government for help in fight against Ebola, saying a vaccine for the Ebola virus developed by Russia was yet another evidence of its support for his country

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© Vitaly Nevar/TASS

GENEVA, May 23. /TASS/. Guinea’s Minister of Health Abdourahmane Diallo warmly thanked on Monday the Russian government for help in fight against Ebola, saying a vaccine for the Ebola virus developed by Russia was yet another evidence of its support for his country, one of the three countries hardest-hit by the Ebola outbreak.

"I would like to thank the Russian Federation that has been beside Guinea since it became independent," the minister told a round-table discussion on Russia’s Ebola virus vaccine and joint action against Ebola, held at the Geneva Palace of Nations.

"The vaccine we are speaking about today is yet another evidence of Russian Federation’s support for Guinea. My government remains an active partner of the World Health Organization (WHO) and all partners, including Russia, in support for all initiatives in the development of vaccines, medicines and medical tests with respect for ethics," the minister went on.

Taking part in the round-table on the sidelines of the 69th session of the World Health Assembly were Russia’s Deputy Health Minister Sergey Krayevoy, WHO Director General Margaret Chan, representatives from the WHO member countries and scientific community.

Russia’s pre-emptive vaccine against Ebola - Gum-Evak Combi, was presented by Professor Alexander Gintsburg, Director General of the N.F. Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology that developed the vaccine, and institute’s leading researcher Denis Logunov, Doctor of Biological Sciences, who led research work on the vaccines.

Uniqueness of Russian vaccine

In an address to the round table participants read out by Sergey Krayevoy, Russian Minister of Healthcare Veronika Skvortsova listed Russia’s experience in fight against the deadly virus as "direct presence in the centers of fever’s epidemic, deployment of scientific-diagnostic, medical and training bases, transfer of sizable donations to funds of international organizations, dispatch of humanitarian cargoes with hardware and equipment, medical materials and medicines, as well as food".

Russia sets the task to continue assistance to the countries that need help against Ebola "to finally conquer it all together". The minister also marked Russia’s achievements and colossal potentials on production of new generation vaccines.

"Russia’s scientific platform can be used to creating analogous vaccines to fight other infectious diseases across the globe," she said. Moscow expresses readiness to partnership with the WHO and interested countries and organizations as to the use and procurement of Russian vaccine against Ebola, the minister said.

WHO’s Director General Margaret Chan also marked efforts of Russia and other countries that work hard on vaccines, and urged more effort to fight the virus.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 11,300 people have died from Ebola in West Africa, primarily in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. More than 28,600 were infected.

In January, Russia informed the WHO executive committee about its anti-Ebola vaccines. On February 5, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said the vaccine would be used in Guinea starting from June 2016. "We have no doubts as for the efficiency of our preparation," she stressed.

The World Health Organization describes Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) as "a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%." Until now, there has been no known cure or vaccine for the disease. The only treatment offered is "supportive intensive care." During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients.

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