Eminent African personalities – World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; United Family International Church (UFIC) founder Emmanuel Makandiwa; prominent traditional healer Sekuru Kamwelo Banda; footballers Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o have scoffed at plans to test potential vaccines for COVID-19 in Africa
The comments came after Dr Jean-Paul Mira, the head of intensive care at Cochin Hospital in Paris, and Dr Camille Locht, the head of research at the Inserm health research group, both suggested that the coronavirus vaccine should be tested on Africans.
The WHO Chief said the remarks were racist.
“Africa cannot and will not be a testing ground for any vaccine,” the director-general said in a statement.
“We will follow all the rules to test any vaccine or therapeutics all over the world…whether it is in Europe, Africa or wherever,” the Standard Media of Kenya quoted Ghebreyesus.
The distasteful comments were made on the French television channel, LCI, during a discussion about Covid-19 vaccine trials yet to be launched.
This is as the world grapples to find a vaccine for the virus that has so far killed 74,783 and infected 1,347,689 people as of Tuesday, April 7.
“It would be wrong for Africans to be used for experiments. Any scientists should test their inventions and get WHO approval before they can send it to the rest of the world.
“Africans should not be used as experiment ground for vaccines invented outside the continent, it is wrong and should not be tolerated,” Sekuru Banda told Spiked Online Media.
Emmanuel Makandiwa, in a recent sermon, seemed to suggest that the cure for COVID-19 would not be provided by any medication provided and said he was giving his followers “freedom no medication can offer.”
“You can’t find this freedom in any pharmacy. If you can hear my voice tonight, start praying for others, stop praying for yourself… you’re covered, you’re protected,” he said.