- French doctor, Jean-Paul Mira, proposed Africa be used as testing ground for COVID-19 vaccine
- The medic argued the continent was incapable of fighting the virus hence the need to be used for the test
- The remarks sparked outrage from African leaders and nationals who trooped to social media sites to call out the medic for the insensitive comment
- World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom termed the proposal "a disgrace and appalling to hear it from scientists in 21st century"
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called out French scientists who suggested that the vaccine test for COVID-19 be done in Africa.
The organisation's Director-General Tedros Adhanom termed the proposal "a disgrace and appalling to hear it from scientists in the 21st century".
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Tedros maintained the WHO would not allow such a "racist" proposal to go through and would ensure proper protocol was followed in conducting vaccine tests for the virus.
"Africa cannot and will not be a testing ground for any vaccine. We will follow all the rules to test all therapeutics all over the world using exactly the same rule...and the hangover from the colonial mentality has to stop," he said.
The director-general noted the remarks by the French medics were not only racist in nature but also went against the global solidarity call in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic which has so far claimed 74,782 lives.
His position on the elusive matter came barely days after a French doctor, Jean-Paul Mira, proposed Africa be used as a testing ground for the vaccine.
The remarks sparked outrage from African leaders and nationals who trooped to social media sites to call out the medic for the insensitive comment.
In Kenya, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula led the onslaught on the scientist arguing the test should start from Asia and Europe where the virus has claimed more lives.
In a strongly-worded statement, the FORD Kenya party leader called on African leaders to reject any attempt to use the continent's people as "Guinea pigs".
"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," he tweeted.
Africa's soccer legend and Cote d'Ivoire nation Didier Drogba also condemned the proposal terming it.
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“It is totally inconceivable we keep on cautioning this. Africa is not a testing lab. I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all deeply racists words. Helps us save Africa with the current ongoing COVID-19 and flatten the curve," he said via Twitter.
When pressure and condemnation became unbearable, the doctor apologised for the "clumsy remarks".
"I want to present all my apologies to those who were hurt, shocked and felt insulted by the remarks that I clumsily expressed on LCI this week," he said.
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