EPP Group calls for more research to fight Ebola

The EPP Group has called on the international community to increase research and development efforts to fight the Ebola virus after a recent resurgence in cases in West Africa. | Cortesy of the EPP
Despite progress made against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, increases in Ebola cases have been reported in Sierra Leone and Guinea the past few weeks, spurring the European People's Party (EPP) Group on Wednesday to call for further research into Ebola countermeasures.

The outbreak is aided by weak health systems and high levels of poverty in the largely affected areas, the EPP Group said. It is for this reason that the group asks that the European Parliament revisit and revise the European Development Fund to provide investments for a strong health care system and firm governance for all nations that have weaknesses in these areas.

"For many years, very little has been done in terms of Ebola research," Davor Ivo Stier, an EPP Group spokesman, said. "The international community, including the European Commission, stepped up efforts in the midst of the epidemic. Since it takes time for vaccines and cures to be researched, produced, tested and approved, it is necessary to be ready before another potential crisis arises. Getting to zero cases means winning the battle against Ebola. We need to aim toward winning the war and thus we appeal to the European Commission to increase efforts when it comes to Ebola vaccine research and development so we are armed with more than isolation if a similar epidemic occurs in the future."

In 2014, the European Commission spent $26.5 million for emergency vaccine research. The Innovative Medicines Initiative has called for approximately $234 million this year.

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