‘Africans are not lab rats!’ French doctors called out over comments on COVID-19 treatment tests


'Africans are not lab rats!' French doctors called out over comments on COVID-19 treatment ...

Two French doctors have attracted the ire of African online after they suggested that a potential coronavirus treatment should be tested in Africa first.

During a televised show, one Dr. Jean-Paul Mira said the tests would yield better results when carried out in Africa where there are “no masks” and ” no treatment” for the novel coronavirus.

“If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatment, no resuscitation, a bit like it has been done in some studies in AIDS, where among prostitutes, we try things, because they are exposed,” Dr Mira said.

His colleague, Camille Locht retorted, saying that Africa which is incapable of battling the pandemic, should test the treatment first as it has “no chance of stopping the virus in any other way”.

“Sorry, you are missing a point here. Africa needs a new treatment AT first, because they don’t have a chance to stop the virus in any other way. A healing there first would save 100,000 of lives more, than in the reality save European countries,” Locht quipped.

The show angered Africans on social media with retired footballer Didier Drogba taking to Twitter to express his distaste at the remarks.

“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,” Drogba wrote.

Africans online wondered why the United States which has more cases than all African countries combined had not been picked to offer its citizens as guinea pigs.

“Africa as a whole hasn’t even reached 50, 000 cases, but America in particular has surpassed more than 200 000 cases, yet they want to experiment the vaccine with Africa. It doesn’t make sense!” Xolani Ngcobo wrote on Twitter.

Mathew Reilly added: “This normalisation of colonial attitudes is jarring in conversation, living in France, would notice some similar rhetorical ticks being used among a certain class towards perceived lesser nations and peoples….”

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Story By Tonny Ndungu
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