LIBERIA-WAFRICA-HEALTH-EBOLAUC RUSAL, a leading global aluminium producer, recently co-organized a roundtable discussion: “Ebola vaccine from Russia: the first lessons and outlook into the future.” The Minister of Health, Veronica Skvortsova and the Head of the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor), Anna Popova, joined RUSAL President Oleg Deripaska at the event.

Via a teleconference facility, the Guinean President Alpha Conde addressed the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin and the entire world community to express his appreciation.

The Minister of Health, Veronica Skvortsova, noted that the Ebola vaccine has been developed in Russia under the working directive of the President and has obtained Russian state registration. In addition, the Russian Federation has allocated financing for “field trials” of the new vaccine. Two thousand citizens of the Republic of Guinea will be vaccinated at the first stage with trials planned at the Research and Clinical Diagnostics Centre for Epidemiological and Microbiological Studies, founded by RUSAL in Guinea.

RUSAL has been operating in Guinea for more than 10 years and is the largest foreign employer in the country. RUSAL opened a specialized Centre for the treatment of Ebola in Kindia, with total investment in the Centre amounting to around $10 million.

Once the disease is eliminated, the Centre can act as a regular medical centre for the treatment of other infectious diseases. The Centre provides specialist diagnostics, treatment and prevention of infectious and other dangerous diseases and is one of the most advanced medical centres to combat viral diseases in West Africa. The Centre’s premises include an infection hospital, a provisional hospital, a mobile laboratory and a blood and plasma transfusion department with a laboratory.

During the initial outbreak of the epidemic, RUSAL organized the delivery of medication to Guinea and fully staffed the Centre with medical specialists. “There were no cases of infection amongst the specialists or the support team from Russia who worked at the hospital, yet the rate of infection amongst the Guinean medical specialists was unfortunately very high,” the Head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova said.

All the roundtable participants noted the importance of collaborative joint decisions at an international level in order to tackle the most complicated problems. “Only by governments responding promptly and working together with non-governmental organisations and businesses can such complicated problems be resolved,” RUSAL President Oleg Deripaska noted.