The World Health Organization (WHO) has assured that Africa will not serve as the testing ground for the coronavirus vaccine as suggested by two French professors.
Director General of the World Health Organization, gave the assurance, strongly condemning the French professors.
“To be honest; I was so appalled,” he said at a news conference.
“Africa cannot and will not be the testing ground for any vaccine,” he assured.
At a time when the world needs solidarity, he says such racist tendency will not help the solidarity.
“The hangover from colonial mentality has to stop,” he warned.
He assured that WHO will not allow that to happen, “and we condemn with the strongest terms possible.
But we assure you that, that will not happen in Africa and in any country elsewhere.
Proper protocols will have to be followed and human beings will have to be treated as human beings,”he added.
Already, some African celebrities have condemned the professors.
American-born Nigerian musician
David Adedeji, popularly known as Davido, it would be recalled, sharply registered his opposition to the proposal for coronavirus vaccine trial to be conducted in Africa.
The French medical professors
Professor Jean-Paul Mira, head of the intensive care unit at the Cochin Hospital in Paris and
Professor Camille Locht, research director at Inserm, had called for the testing of a vaccine against coronavirus to be carried out in Africa.
Professor Mira had indicated that “If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa where there are no masks, no treatment, no resuscitation?”
The Professor added that “The same as for some AIDS studies where prostitutes try things because we know they’re unprotected.”
Professor Locht replied by saying “You are right. We are currently thinking in parallel about a study in Africa to make this same type of approach with the BCG.”
According to Professor Locht, “There is a tender process that has gone out or is going to go out. We will seriously think about that. That doesn’t prevent us from thinking in parallel about a study in Europe and Australia.”
But Davido in a tweet on Saturday April 4, says bluntly “make dem (them) go use the vaccine first where the cases plenty pass” to wit the vaccine must be experimented in regions and countries where there are high cases of the coronavirus.
France is one of the countries with higher cases of the virus and many Africans feel they are victims of racism due to the calls by the professors.
Already, two top former African footballers, Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon and Didier Drogba of Côte d’Ivoire have strongly criticized the professors as the racism row over the vaccine deepens.
The professors had made the comments on French television about the potential BCG vaccine.
The vaccine is accordingly usually used against tuberculosis.
Former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea striker Eto’o in responding to the call, wrote on Instagram: “you are just SH*T. Africa isn’t yours to play with.”
Former Chelsea striker and Champions League title winner, Drogba accused the doctors of treating Africans like guinea pigs and labelled the remarks as ‘racist’.
In a tweet, he says emphatically that “It is inconceivable that we continue to accept this. I strongly denounce these serious, racist and contemptuous remarks.”
He added that “Help us save lives in Africa and stop the spread of this virus which is destabilising the whole world, instead of considering us as guinea pigs. It is absurd!”
“African leaders have a responsibility to protect people from these heinous plots,” according to Drogba.
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By Melvin Tarlue