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Published: 07.05.2015

Coincidentally, the New York Times has published a story on Uveitis and Ebola, “After nearly claiming his life, Ebola lurked in a doctor’s eyes

During a recent visit to Johannesburg, I attended the IAPB Africa Annual Conference, and had the opportunity to meet Dr Irmela Erdmann, Ophthalmologist and CBM West Africa Medical Advisor. Dr Erdmann described to me the dreadful situation that many of the survivors of Ebola were now developing serious complications including uveitis and other eye problems, which if not treated could result in blindness. Research is under way to find out what the connection is with Ebola, but to date the connection is not known.

Fortunately, the eye diseases are treatable and curable, but require urgent and immediate intervention. I was asked to source the following drugs for immediate shipment to Sierra Leone – Atropine Sulfate Ophthalmic Solution 1% 5ml, Prednisolone Acetate Ophthalmic Suspension 1% 5ml and Timolol Eye Drops 0.5% 5ml. I contacted a number of pharmaceutical distributors known to me, and during my negotiations our friends at Aurolab came up with the best deal – a donation of 500 of each of the above-mentioned drugs.

Dr Erdmann was absolutely delighted with this extremely generous offer from Aurolab, and together we put the deal into action and placed the order.

The donated drugs from Aurolab were shipped to Freetown this month and consigned to CBM’s partner organisation in Sierra Leone, Dr John Mattia of the Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone (CHASL). A further order of drugs was ordered from Aurolab at a discounted price which will be shipped later this month.

Dr Erdmann and Dr Mattia passed on their sincere thanks to Aurolab, saying that the “timing was perfect”. On behalf of IAPB, CBM and CHASL, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Vishnu Prasad of Aurolab for the donation of drugs.