Oslo University hospital receives the Ebola infected woman. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix
The Norwegian woman, infected by the Ebola in Sierra Leone and currently receiving treatment in Oslo, will get the last dose of the virus treatment medicine ZMapp available in the world.
The news was released by the Norwegian Medicines Agency on Tuesday, according to NTB.
Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said to Dagens Medisin: “It looks like we could get the last available dose of ZMapp to Norway. The medicine is now in Canada.”
According to the professional medic's magazine, the agency has given Oslo University hospital the authorisation to import Ebola medicines not approved of in Norway.
Madsen said: “When there are patients with an acute need for medicine, we allow import of medicines that are not approved.”
While the medicine Avigan came to Norway already on Tuesday, TKM-Ebola will arrive on Wednesday. Madsen informed that ZMapp has been the most difficult to get.
“It must be said it is lucky that Norway will get the last dose of ZMapp. There are no more doses in the world and it takes a long time to produce. It is the hospital pharmacy that gets the medicine through contact networks all over the world, while the Norwegian Medicines Agency gives the necessary approval,” said Madsen.
Madsen explained further the medicine will be imported to the Ebola patient only. It has been tried on only a small number of patients, and the effect of the medicine is therefore not fully known.
Madsen said: “Of those who have taken ZMapp, the majority have survived. Another person has survived with TKM-Ebola, but the medicines are used on a small number of patients.”
It has been revealed at least 27 Norwegians are still currently working in Ebola-ridden areas and include:
- Médecins Sans Frontiers: Around 20 Norwegians take part in the Ebola effort in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.Red Cross: 7 Norwegian employees in areas struck by Ebola.
- NORCAP: A Norwegian health logistics worker will travel to Liberia on Friday. Other Norwegians are also on NORCAP's preparedness lists.
- Save the Children: Has to this day no Norwegians in the areas struck by Ebola. Now working to recruit personnel to their programs in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
- Making Change: No Norwegians today. Has offered the Department of Foreign Affairs to send down crisis management experts.
- Norsk Folkehjelp (Norwegian People's Aid), Kirkens Nødhjelp (Norwegian Church Aid) and UNICEF have no Norwegian employees in the Ebola-ridden areas of West Africa.