Two French doctors Dr. Jean-Paul Mira and Dr. Camille Locht sparked a heated debate on social media platforms after proposing to have a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine trial conducted in Africa first.
Speaking during LCI TV channel debate on Friday 3 April, Dr Jean-Paul Mira who is the head of intensive care at Cochin hospital in Paris told his colleague Dr. Camille Locht that Africa was better placed to yield positive results as they don’t have protective gears and no treatment.
“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,” reads Dr. Mira’s statement.
Seconding Mira’s proposal Dr. Camille Locht stated that Africa did not have the capacity and resources to fight the coronavirus pandemic which has sent the whole globe in panic.
“Sorry, you are missing a point here. Africa needs a new treatment at first because they don’t have a chance to stop the virus in any other way. Healing they’re first would save 100,000 of lives more, than in the relatively safe European countries,” Dr. Locht affirmed.
The two doctors’ proposals came as African nations battle the COVID-19 virus with help from World Bank, Philanthropists and the World Health Organisation (WHO) while staring at Africa’s weak health systems has sparked outrage from a number of Africans leaders and other personalities who accused the doctors of racism.
Kenya’s Senator Moses Wetangula took a front line in hitting back at the doctors reminding them that COVID-19 virus was an imported disease from Asia and Europe to Africa.
“The epicenter of COVID-19 (Coronavirus ) is China, Italy, Spain, France, and the 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!” reads Wetangula’s response to the doctors on Twitter.
Sports personalities from West Africa, Didier Drogba (Cote d Ivoire) and Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), also reacted aggressively, urging African leaders to take responsibility of protecting their populations from such horrendous conspiracies.
“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 deep racists words. It helps us save Africa from the current ongoing COVID-19 and flatten the curve. Do not take African people as human guinea pigs! It’s absolutely disgusting, ” reads Drogba’s tweet condemning the two doctors’ proposal.
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