The World Health Organisation (WHO) has dispelled rumors that Africa will be used as a testing ground for COVID-19 vaccine.
Director-general of the organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said this during a media briefing on Monday, while reacting to statements credited to French doctors, Jean Paul Mira and Camille Locht, who appeared on television discussing “Africa as best destination to conduct test for COVID-19 vaccine.”
The WHO Director-General who condemned the statement which he described as the statement as “racist” and a hangover of “colonial mentality” and a “disgrace” on scholars in the 21st century, said “Africa can’t and won’t be a testing ground for any vaccine.”
Adding that the world health authority will follow all the rules and protocols to test any vaccine or therapeutics all over the world using exactly the same rule, whether in Europe, Africa or wherever, he noted that such remarks goes against the needed solidarity in a time as this.
Along with Camille Locht, head of the resuscitation department at Cochin Hospital, Mira, had cited the use of prostitutes in Africa to carry out vaccine test for the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as a justification for the use of Africa as a testing ground for a potential vaccine while stressing that the continent should be considered because of its perceived toughness to disease outbreaks.
Although he apologised for his comments, the statement by the two doctors had provoked outrage on social media including from football legends, Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o who described it as shocking and provocative and lending to conspiracy theories around the subject of chips as vaccine for COVID-19, health hazards of 5G and the coming of the Antichrist.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.