An Official of the Democratic Republic Of Congo has expressed the country’s readiness to participate in corona virus vaccine testing, becoming the first African country to do so.
Jean-Jacques Muyembe, head of the National Biological Institute had during briefing to newsmen, “We’ve been chosen to conduct these tests,”
Muyembe further said, “The vaccine will be produced in the United States, or in Canada, or in China. We’re candidates for doing the testing here,”
“At some point, COVID-19 will be uncontrollable,”
“The only way to control it will be a vaccine, just like Ebola. It was a vaccine that helped us end the Ebola epidemic.”
Muyember’s comments has since sparked outrage on social media outlets with many describing the statement as ascribing the country’s population as “guinea pigs” for testing vaccine.
This coming after a controversial video of two French countries suggesting that Africa should be used during the vaccine testing period.
“If I can be provocative,” responded Jean-Paul Mira, head of intensive care at Cochin Hospital in Paris, “shouldn’t we be doing this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatments, no resuscitation?”
“A bit like as it is done elsewhere for some studies on AIDS,” the doctor added, according to the report.
“In prostitutes, we try things because we know that they are highly exposed and that they do not protect themselves.”
Mira had earlier suggested that the study might not work as planned on health care workers in Europe and Australia, because they have access to personal protective equipment, guarding them from the contagion
This suggestion by the French Doctors didn’t go down well as many tagged them racists and shortly after, #AfricansAreNotLabRats trended on Twitter.
Didier Drogba wrote: “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 racist words.”
Dennis Kiplimo @_itshark wrote: It makes no sense to start testing vaccines in a continent with just 7k+ cases, leaving behind their countries. Africa is not a lab and we are not Guinea pigs! Let them test their vaccines there. Sadly, our leaders are dumb enough to allow them. #AfricansAreNotLabRats
‘Tunde Omotoye @TundeTASH : It is very sad that as the world battles this pandemic, some shallow minded doctors in France believe the cure for the virus should first be tested in Africa. Racism just always rare its ugly head. #AfricansAreNotGuineaPigs #AfricansAreNotLabRats
OMO NAIJA Crown @Cele__Audu: Whatever is best for humanity is not meant for Africans, whatever is not favorable and detrimental is meant for Africans. Super sad how low these People rate Africans. #AfricansAreNotLabRats
Former Cameroon’s international Samuel Eto’o also joined the protest via instagram, he wrote, “Africa is not your playing ground,”