The director general of World Health Organization has condemned comments made by two French doctors who had earlier suggested that Covid -19 vaccine could be tested in Africa.
In a statement to the press, Mr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that Africa would not be used as a testing ground for a vaccine terming the statement of the two doctors as reckless and racist.
The doctors remarks angered Africans who took to the social media to rebuke them under the hash tag, Africa is not your lab.
Mr Tedros said that such statements reflected the colonial hang over mentality of the doctors, he said it was appaling and disgraceful to hear such statements in the 21st century.
The two doctors said the words during a televised debate on French TV channel LCI, Camile Locht, head of research at Inserm Research Institute talked about testing a vaccine in Australia and Europe.
The second doctor, Jean Paul Mira, head of intensive care at Cochin hospital then said that the test should be carried out in Africa because Africans had no masks, no treatment or resuscitation.
Doctor Jean then compared his idea of a vaccine testing on Africans to the aids research done on prostitutes around the world, saying the two -Africans and prostitutes -were the same because they were highly exposed and did not protect themselves.
The show caused widespread anger, attracting rebuke from many human rights defenders and prominent Africans including former Chelsea strike, Didier Drogba who called the doctors “racist ” and “disgusting.”
Samuel Etoo of Cameroon called the doctors “murderers ”
The doctors remarks came at a time when many Africans fear that a coronavirus vaccine will be tested in Africa. This fear has seen many coronavirus research centres targeted by fearful Africans. Recently, a research facility in Abidjan was attacked and destroyed by protesters in Ivory Coast.
One of the doctors later asked for forgiveness.