Legendary African footballers, Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba, have blasted two French Doctors who recently suggested that medical trials for a new COVID-19 vaccine be administered on Africans first.
The doctors, Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht made the unfortunate comments during a discussion on French television channel LCI, where they both agreed that any such study on a vaccine for the novel coronavirus be carried out in Africa as had been done for other conditions.
On the show which was aired April 1, Dr Mira from Cochin hospital in Paris, had raised the proposal and related it to similar studies on HIV/AIDS done on the continent.
“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 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,” he proposed.
Dr Camille Locht of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), responded in agreement, saying:
“You are right, we are in the thinking of a parallel study in Africa to use this same approach with BCG placebos.”
But the controversial comments have been condemned by anti-racist groups and many other people commenting online.
In a quick reaction to the controversy, former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba tweeted that, “Africa is not a testing lab” and that the suggestion was taking the “African people as human guinea pigs.”
“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 words. Helps us save Africa with the current ongoing Covid 19 and flatten the curve,” the tweet read.
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 words.
Helps us save Africa with the current ongoing Covid 19 and flatten the curve. pic.twitter.com/41GIpXaIYv
— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) April 2, 2020
Former Barcelona and Inter striker, Samuel Eto’o directly launched an attack on the two doctors, calling them assasins as he tweeted a response to the video.
— Samuel Eto'o (@setoo9) April 2, 2020
For his part, Senegalese and Istanbul Basaksehir player, Demba Ba came hard saying Africans must resist such racist comments.
“Welcome to the West, where the white man is believed to be so superior that racism and weakness become banality. It is time to stand up,” Ba tweeted in French
Bienvenue en occident , la où le blanc se croit tellement supérieur que racisme et débilité deviennent banalité. TIME TO RISE ✊🏿 pic.twitter.com/R08R7K9QAw
— Demba Ba (@dembabafoot) April 2, 2020