Pharmaceutical companies are unwilling to invest in vaccines and research to cure the deadly Ebola disease because it is only killing Africans, a leading UK doctor has claimed.
The President of the UK Faculty of Public Health, Prof. John Ashton, has claimed no cure for the disease has been discovered because it so far has only affected powerless minorities.
He likened the response to that of Aids, for which treatments were developed only when it started affecting Western countries.
The current Ebola outbreak – which has no vaccine, no cure and kills up to 90 per cent of victims – is currently ravaging the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Liberia.
There have been 729 deaths from 1,329 confirmed cases of Ebola in this year’s epidemic – making it the largest Ebola outbreak in history.
Writing in the Independent on Sunday, Prof. Ashton said: ‘We must respond to this emergency as if it was in Kensington, Chelsea, and Westminster.
‘We must also tackle the scandal of the unwillingness of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in research to produce treatments and vaccines, something they refuse to do because the numbers involved are, in their terms, so small and don’t justify the investment.
‘This is the moral bankruptcy of capitalism acting in the absence of an ethical and social framework.’