Speaking at a news conference after the US-African Summit, Mr. Obama asked leaders of African countries affected by the disease outbreak to improve on their public health systems.
“The countries affected are the first to admit that what’s happened here is the public health systems have been overwhelmed. They weren’t able to identify and then isolate cases quickly enough.
“As a consequence, it spread more rapidly than has been typical with the periodic Ebola outbreaks that occurred previously,” Mr. Obama said.
He said the availability of the experimental drug, Zmapp, should depend on
guide from scientists on its safety for human consumption.
Zmapp was developed by a biotechnology firm Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., in San Diego.
The new drug was used on two U.S. health officials, Kent Brantley and Nancy Writebol, who were infected with the virus in Liberia and later taken to the U.S.
The Nigerian government had asked the U.S. Centre for Disease Control to provide it with the experimental drug being administered on the two American doctors infected in Liberia.
Both are said to be responding to treatment.
Mr. Obama also advised that resources must be made available for health workers to improve on the public health systems.
“I don’t think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful. What we do know is that the Ebola virus – both currently and in the past – is controllable if you have strong public health infrastructure in place.
“Let’s get all the health workers that we need on the ground. Let’s help to bolster the systems that they already have in place,” he said.