Scientists say that it is vital that Africans take part in the vaccine testing to avoid jeopardizing efforts to find a vaccine that works worldwide – and not just for richer nations.
2 months ago World Health Organization (WHO), announced a global “solidarity trial” looking at finding promising treatments for Covid-19, as there are no known cures yet, an effective vaccine would play a critical role in preventing and controlling the pandemic, and it would also train people’s immune systems to fight the virus stopping them from falling sick
There have been numerous scare stories about trials for a coronavirus vaccine being carried out on people in Africa.
It was sparked by two French doctors discussing a trial in Europe and Australia looking into whether a tuberculosis vaccine would prove effective against coronavirus.
During the TV debate, they both agreed it should be tested in Africa too, one saying: “If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we be doing this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatments, no resuscitation?
“It was a disgrace, appalling, to hear during the 21st Century, to hear from scientists that kind of remark,” said Dr Tedros, who is Ethiopian.
“We condemn this in the strongest terms possible, and we assure you that this will not happen. The hangover from a colonial mentality has to stop.”
Unsurprisingly prominent African personalities added their voice to the outrage, including former footballers Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o – both of whom have been victims of racial abuse on and off the pitch during their careers in Europe. “Do not take African people as human guinea pigs! It’s absolutely disgusting,” Drogba tweeted.
So far one vaccine trial has begun in South Africa – and one is one waiting approval in Kenya.