Ebola: Conspiracy to Kill

It is likely many of us have seen TV footage of suspected Ebola victims running away from suited medics or being fired at for breaking out of medical facilities. From the comfort of our living rooms thousands of miles away we would be forgiven for muttering, ‘Running away from help?’ ‘Crazy people’.

Our series of reports on this heart-wrenching saga of misery caused by rogue medics operating in a Sierra Leone Ebola treatment centre will provide some explanation for those bizarre scenes of 2014.

A few weeks ago uSpiked was provided with an incredulous lead indicative of possible conspiracy of silence by several organisations including the UKaid, WHO, UN and a South African NGO, Right-to-Cure. At the centre of the story is a team of Italian medics said to have turned Ebola patients into undocumented lab subjects. It now appears the culprits had no experience or knowledge on infectious tropical diseases.

The medics reportedly administered to patients whatever cocktail of drugs they could get their hands on, hoping that something in the various combinations would work against Ebola. The consequences of these reckless actions by so-called experts have been fatal nearly in all cases.

On lifting the first stone we encountered rocks, some clearly too heavy.

This lead was too conspiratorial to be real, but still, we gathered our resources and dove in. On lifting the first stone we encountered rocks, some clearly too heavy.

It appears there has been little regulation of work by some of the medical organisations that trooped to West Africa in late 2014 when Ebola outbreak was finally acknowledged. This lack of oversight created opportunities for unscrupulous organisations and individuals to not only line their pockets, but also gain access to ready human subjects for drugs’ testing, particularly for drugs whose patents are almost expiring. [Some pharmaceutical companies are known to extend the patent life of drugs by tweaking their composition or finding fresh use for the same. The aim is to continue locking out generics from the market.]

We can appreciate the robustness of donors, medical and pharmaceutical organisations (corporations) that threw their weight behind the fight against the deadly virus. What is baffling is why these benefactors did and still support ‘medics’ with no expertise in infectious or tropical diseases. A case in point is Emergency, an Italian NGO, generously funded by UKaid to work in Sierra Leone.

Dispatching a team of surgeons to combat Ebola is like sending a handful of US Special Forces to the Nigerian jungle to track down the girls abducted by Boko Haram.

Emergency, a husband (Gino Strada – Surgeon) and wife (Gina Portella – anesthetist) outfit is renowned as a conflict- and post-war surgical NGO. But, when it comes to tropical medicine or infectious diseases, Strada and Portella would probably not tell the difference between malaria, meningitis and tuberculosis. Dispatching a team of surgeons to combat Ebola is like sending a handful of US Special Forces to the Nigerian jungle to track down the girls abducted by Boko Haram.

Since arriving at the Ebola zone in Sierra Leone, the Emergency team led by anesthetist Portella has been out of its depths. Information from multiple independent sources, (collaborated by huge documentary evidence) paint a worrying picture about what is really happening, at least in the center managed by this particular NGO.

For a lay person, it unimaginable, a situation where an anesthetist would ask staff to search for the recommended dosage of drugs on Google. This, according to our sources, happened on daily basis. The scope of the Internet search did not include determining the illness the drugs treat.

We have not confirmed exactly what motivated Portella - who is in charge of Emergency's operations Goderich - to order massive administration of Amiodarone to Ebola patients under her care.

However, there are two logical (or illogical) explanations; having been involved with several life-threatening surgeries including cardiac, this is the only drug that she was somewhat familiar with; alternatively there could be some shadowy characters on a mission to perk interest in fresh usage of this drug.

Amiodarone was developed in 1961 to manage angina, a chest-discomfort condition related to coronary artery disease. The drug however proved useful in treating heart rhythmic disorders after Argentine physician, Dr. Mauricio Rosenbaum, stumbled upon its ability to reduce cardiac arrhythmias. Without any regulated clinical trials, Dr. Rosenbaum started administering Amiodarone to his patients. Doctors across the world soon followed suit.

Amiodarone is one of the few scheduled drugs approved by US FDA, without the usual vigorous clinical trials' protocols. The 1985 FDA approval was only achieved after some special interest groups put pressure on the US watchdog to give it the irregular nod, a decision FDA must now be regretting.

In a communiqué dated August 8 2008, the FDA warned healthcare professionals of the risk of muscle injuries, rhabdomyolysis that could lead to kidney failure or death if Amiodarone were taken in combination with Simvastatin. But this warning didn’t include previously listed combinations that included a series of antibiotics, diuretic (water pills) and multiple blood pressure medications…The list resembles an inventory for a local pharmacy.

In a recent article that called for patients to understand the idiosyncrasies and the risks associated with the drug, cardiologist Dr. Richard Fogoros wrote: ‘Amiodarone is a uniquely effective cardiac drug, but uniquely toxic’.

Corpses's temperatures would be kept warm using hot rubber gloves for three or four days before official declaration of death. By then, the bodies would be full of blisters…

But Portella and her team didn’t seem to care for any warnings. In fact she facilitated the abuse of victims even in death. Various sources told us how deaths were not declared immediately – this was happening as recently as late March this year. Corpses' temperatures would be kept warm using hot rubber gloves for three or four days before being official declaration of deaths. By then, the bodies would be full of blisters… Inhuman indeed. In the mean time, a suited Portella would be seen collecting what appeared to be body tissues from the corpses.

A close examination of copies of treatment records (there were many other cases without treatment records) gathered by some concerned medics revealed grave issues that go beyond a simple case of medical malpractice. Legal practitioners we have consulted rightly called the acts “criminal”. But what courts, we ask, would consider demanding justice for the nameless Sierra Leoneans?

The only laws that could be brought to bear could be Articles 6(b)(c) and Article 7(b) of the Rome Statute. The 6(b) - Causing serious bodily harm to the group; (c) - Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part. Under Article 7 it’s simply a crime against humanity – widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack.

The great Italian medics will never see the doors of the International Criminal Court simply because no matter what kind of evidence presented, the UN Security Council would have to grant approval for prosecution. And considering that London is aware of the atrocities being committed with its funding and has opted to look the other way, the veto would most likely be used to shield the quacks.

The least we can do and shall do for the helpless victims who are now carriers of the various pharmaceutical compounds is to give them voices. Maybe with enough amplification, their avoidable deaths will not be in vain. 

Those who have knowledge of these atrocities and have remained silent are as guilty…. WHO, UNMEER, UKaid, Right-to-Cure… hence the big question, what has been in it for you?

In the meantime, should any of uSpiked’s staff members contract Ebola, it’s our wish that the Italians stay far away from us. Rather we died untreated.


Ebola Outbreak