Health Care Federation of Nigeria

The Makurdi Federal High Court in Benue state has lifted the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC’s) long ban on Dr Jeremiah Abalaka’s HIV vaccine.

The judgement by the presiding Judge, Justice Binta Nyako will also prevent the federal government and NAFDAC from interfering with the progress of the drug research and use.

After banning him from using the HIV vaccines he discovered  in 1999, Abalaka went to court to challenge the ban. He also sued the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation for same reason.

He claimed to have made the discovery on how to prevent and also cure  HIV and have been granted a patent for that in 1999.

“I wrote to health institutions and authorities in Nigeria to draw their attention to the discovery to collaborate with me to test and confirm the breakthrough.

“This was in order to bring succour to sufferers of HIV but the letters were ignored.’’ he said.

According to Abalaka, the potency of his drugs were confirmed by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) and a report to that effect was produced in February 28, 2000. However, the Federal Government halted continued collaboration with the institute. He also disclosed that the drugs have been purchased by different categories of healthcare outfits and it proved effective on their patients.

“When the FG discovered that the vaccines were potent, it sent agents to me with the sum of N10 million for the breakthrough to be announced in Atlanta Georgia, USA, but I refused’’ he said.

His refusal prompted his vaccine being banned for further use by NAFDAC.

Paul Omale, his counsel,  had urged the court to determine whether the defendants had justified their banning the vaccines and “sentence about 3.5 million Nigerians to death’’ while there was effective and safe vaccines to cure them.

Omale further urged the court to determine whether the defendants had shown any harmful side effect of the vaccines.

Mr Uche Ezekwesili, counsel to the defendants, however, abandoned their plea as he could not call witnesses to justify the ban.

Delivering judgment, Justice Nyako said since there was no cure yet for HIV, it was only fair for the defendants to have allowed the plaintiff to use the vaccines on infected persons with their consent. 

Source: HealthNews Nig. 19th Nov 2014

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