The chief of the World Health Organization slammed scientists for calling on Africa to be the coronavirus testing ground.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a news conference: “Africa cannot and will not be a testing ground for any vaccine,” adding that the calls for Africa to be the testing ground was a hangover from the ‘colonial mentality.’
The health minister added: “It was a disgrace, appalling, to hear during the 21st century, to hear from scientists, that kind of remark. We condemn this in the strongest terms possible, and we assure you that this will not happen.”
This comes as leaders are trying to find an antidote to coronavirus which has infected over 1.4 million people around the world and took the lives of more than 70,000. But a vaccine is estimated to be up to 18 months away.
Two French doctors were accused of racism for saying that Africa should be the world’s testing ground as Africans are highly exposed.
The health of intensive care at Cochin Hospital in Paris, Jean-Paul Mira, said: “If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we be doing this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatments, no resuscitation?
“A bit like as it is done elsewhere for some studies on Aids. In prostitutes, we try things because we know that they are highly exposed and that they do not protect themselves.”
The head of research at the Inserm health research group, Camille Locht, also said: “We are in the process of thinking about a study in parallel in Africa.”
Many people also called the remarks racist. Former footballer Didier Drogba took to Twitter and wrote: “It is totally inconceivable we keep on cautioning this. Africa is not a testing lab.”
One internet user also commented: “Why Afr*ica? it should be Ch*ina as they are responsible for this mess.”
Another said: “This what you get when you have a ”puppet” on a string, being towed and controlled by the PRC!”
A third added: “OMG. Appalling. I can’t believe that people still think like this in this day and age. I am absolutely disgusted.”
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