Doctors and politicians in Europe have been accused of racism for suggesting that a potential vaccine for coronavirus should first be tested on people in Africa.
A section of the European nations and scientists had suggested that COVID-19 vaccine test be done in Africa and argued Africa had no capacity to fight the virus and hence the best place to launch the treatment test.
This include the comments of two French doctors which were made on the French television channel, LCI, during a discussion on Wednesday about COVID-19 trials set to be launched in Europe and Australia to see if the BCG tuberculosis vaccine could be used to treat the virus.
“It may be provocative. Should we not do this study in Africa where there are no masks, no treatment or intensive care, a little bit like it’s been done for certain AIDS studies, where among prostitutes, we try things, because we know that they are highly exposed and don’t protect themselves?” said one of the two doctors who has publicly said racial comments, Jean-Paul Mira, head of the intensive care unit at the Cochin Hospital in Paris.
“The epicenter of COVID-19(Coronavirus ) is China, Italy, Spain, France, US. Clinical trials on its possible cure must start there and not in any African country. African leaders must resist any attempt to use our people as Guinea pigs. Resist,” Kenyan politician Moses Masika Wetangula tweeted.
“Africa isn’t a testing lab. I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all deeply racist words,” Ivorian and Chelsea professional football player Didier Drogba said in a tweet.
“Do not take African people as human guinnea pigs! It’s absolutely disgusting,” Drogba also posted on Facebook.
“African leaders have a responsibility to protect their populations from those horrendous conspiracies,” he added.
Africa is currently the continent least affected by the coronavirus, with nearly 8000 cases and about 350 deaths, though there are fears that the number of undetected cases is low due to a lack of testing and proper treatment.