Two French doctors are being slammed for suggesting that vaccines for the novel coronavirus should be tested in Africa during a television broadcast.
According to the BBC, Jean-Paul Mira, head of intensive care Cochin Hospital in Paris, was featured on the TV channel LCI, debating with Dr. Camille Locht, Inserm Health research group’s head of research, about using a tuberculosis vaccine to combat COVID-19 in European and Australian trials.
Mira then suggested that trials should take place in Africa.
“A bit like as it is done elsewhere for some studies on Aids,” Mira said. “In prostitutes, we try things because we know that they are highly exposed and that they do not protect themselves.”
The whole of Africa have recorded only 23 #coronavirus death compared to
ITALY -13950 Deaths
China -3314 Deaths
Spain – 10,935 Deaths
USA – 6,099 Deaths
— Tosin Olugbenga (@TosinOlugbenga) April 4, 2020
He questioned that since Africa had “no masks, no treatments, no resuscitation,” would trials in Europe and Australia work as planned since they have access to personal protective equipment (PPE).
Dr. Locht replied, “You are right. We are in the process of thinking about a study in parallel in Africa.”
Reactions to the doctors’ statements hit social media, where many were irate and offended. Online outrage also led to the hashtag #AfricansAreNotLabRats to become a trending topic on Twitter.
Among them was Didier Drogba, former star of the Chelsea Football Club, and captain of the Ivory Coast national soccer team.
“I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all deeply racist words,” Drogba tweeted.
It is totally inconceivable we keep on cautioning this.
Africa isn’t a testing lab.
I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all deeply racists words.
Helps us save Africa with the current ongoing Covid 19 and flatten the curve. pic.twitter.com/41GIpXaIYv
— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) April 2, 2020
“Do not take African people as human guinea pigs! It’s absolutely disgusting,”
Africa is currently the continent that is the least afflicted with COVID-19, with only 7,064 positive cases and 290 deaths.