- Two popular and highly respected doctors in France discuss coronavirus on live TV
- They suggest they could use Africans to fro clinical trials for the following reasons: In Africa there is no ICU, there is no protective clothing hence it is a perfect environment for clinical trials.
- One of them, Jean-Paul Mira, even compared Africans to prostitutes who were the focus during HIV/AIDS clinical trials because they do not protect themselves from such HIV.
- Soccer stars of African origin blasted the ‘racist’ doctors. Former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba and Former Barcelona forward Samuel Eto’o also critisized the doctors.
A discussion by two respected French doctors on live TV in France has courted a huge backlash from viewers mostly of African descent. The two doctors discussed the need to turn Africa into a big testing laboratory for Covid-19 clinical trials.
During a programme by French TV channel LCI, respected doctors Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht talked about the idea of performing tests for vaccines in impoverished African countries as they provide a near perfect environment for such trials to be performed because of the lack of under development in Africa.
Jean-Paul Mira is the leader of the intensive care department at a Cochin Hospital in Paris. The other doctor, Locht is research director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM).
“If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa where there are no masks, no treatment, no intensive care? A bit like we did in some studies on AIDS. We tried things on prostitutes because they are highly exposed and do not protect themselves,” Mira suggested.
Locht agreed, saying: “You are right. We are actually thinking of a parallel study in Africa to use with the same kind of approach with BCG placebos,” referring to vaccination against tuberculosis INSERM says has appeared to protect children against infections, particularly respiratory ones.
“We will in fact think seriously about it,” he said.
The comments sparked an outrage as Africans accused the West of exhibiting colonial and racist tendencies.
Prominent African footballers such as former Chelsea and Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba warned that Africa is not a testing lab
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 [sic] words.”
Former New Castle forward Demba Ba expressed is anger at the ‘racist’ remarks by the French doctors:
“Welcome to the West, where white people believe themselves to be so superior that racism and debility become commonplace,” tweeted Ba, who is from Senegal. “Time to rise.”
Former FB Barcelona and Cameroon striker Eto’o reminded the doctors that Africa wasn’t their play ground.
A day after the fracas, the Democratic Republic of Congo agreed to have Congolese candidates to be subjected to clinical trials for vaccines from USA, China and Canada. The acceptance by DRC caused an outrage as other Africans believed Europe and America have the best environment for testing as they are currently experiencing more infections than Africa.