Prof. Alex Dodoo, a lecturer at the School of Medicine and Dentistry of the University of Ghana, has apologised to Members of Parliament for describing them as ‘ignorant’ over comments they made regarding the Ebola vaccine clinical trial.
The apology was made on Professor Dodoo’s behalf by his counsel, Yonny Kulendi when Parliament’s Privileges Committee summoned him on Tuesday.
‘To the extent that this House whether correctly or incorrectly takes the slightest view that his comments were an affront to the dignity of this House, I hold his instruction to hold on record, Mr Chairman, his unconditional, irrevocable apology to this House.
He honours this House and could not have been tendered to disrespect this House,’ Yonny Kulendi told the Committee.
According to him, Professor Dodoo, as a citizen, holds this House in the highest of esteem.
Therefore Mr Chairman, Prof Doudo could not and did not insult this House,’ his lawyer said. ‘Mr Chiarman, he will not do that, it is not even compatible with his status, his enlightenment, his character and even the kind of work he does to bring himself to the point that he can say something that is an affront or demeaning of this House,’ he further explained.
Background The food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in June gave an international pharmaceutical company approval to commence Ebola Vaccines trial in Ghana.
The vaccine trial was scheduled to start in Hohoe in the Volta Region, but several civil society organizations including the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science, the Volta regional branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some residents, kicked against the exercise.
The trial was suspended following the public uproar and an order from Parliament. The Ho West MP, Emmanuel Kwesi Bedzra, on behalf of the Volta Caucus drew Parliaments attention to the trial and called for immediate suspension.
Other MPs asked whether the vaccine had been tried on on mice and chimpanzees, and said the trials should rather be conducted in countries where the disease was prevalent. But Prof. Dodoo in a reaction, said the MPs needed to apologise to Ghanaians for their ‘ignorant’ statements.
‘What shocked me is that I heard an MP say that do we have systems. Does that MP not know that we have the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) which is being regulated by the Public Health Act of 2012 and that that organisation is mandated by our laws to carry out clinical studies? If these MPs had just taken the most casual of checks with the body licensed to do this, they would not have made such statements,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Bedzra testifying before Parliaments Privileges Committee stated that he did not engage the FDA and the Ministry of Health before demanding for the suspension of the Ebola vaccine trial.
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