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Canada WHO condemns "racist comments" by researchers on vaccine tests in Africa

02:25  07 april  2020
02:25  07 april  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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A researcher works on the development of a vaccine against the new coronavirus COVID-19, in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, on March 26, 2020. Australia has commenced the first stage of testing potential vaccines for COVID-19. Image Credit: AFP.

Scientists who carry out clinical trials try to find conditions in which large numbers of people are exposed to the disease, as this gives a better opportunity for testing a new drug. Former international football star Drogba was among those who criticised the remarks about testing in Africa .

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, chef de l'OMS, le 16 mars 2020 à Genève. © Christopher Black / WHO / Handout via REUTERS Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of WHO, on March 16, 2020 in Geneva.

The head of the WHO on Monday condemned the "racist comments" of researchers who recently mentioned Africa as "a testing ground" to test a potential vaccine against Covid-19, denouncing "the legacy of a colonial mentality ".

“These kinds of racist comments do nothing to advance. They go against the spirit of solidarity. Africa cannot and will not be a testing ground for any vaccine, "said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, former Ethiopian foreign minister, during a virtual press conference from Geneva. "The legacy of the colonial mentality must end," he added, in response to a question from a Nigerian journalist.

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' Racist '. Africa is the world's poorest continent and its citizens bear the least responsibility for Former international football star Drogba was among those who criticised the remarks about testing in "Help us save lives in Africa and stop the spread of the virus that is destabilising the whole world instead of

- ' Racist ' -. Africa is the world's poorest continent and its citizens bear the least responsibility for Former international football star Drogba was among those who criticised the remarks about testing in "Help us save lives in Africa and stop the spread of the virus that is destabilising the whole world

Mr. Tedros did not name the scientists in question, but a heated controversy erupted in France and in Africa, in particular after an exchange between a researcher from the French Institute for Medical Research (Inserm) and a head of department of 'a Parisian hospital on April 1 on the LCI channel. In this sequence, Camille Locht, research director at Inserm in Lille (northern France), was asked about research carried out around the BCG vaccine against Covid-19. Invited on stage, Jean-Paul Mira, head of the intensive medicine and intensive care unit at Cochin hospital, asked him: "If I can be provocative, shouldn't this study be done in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatment, no resuscitation, a bit like it is done elsewhere on some studies with AIDS, or in prostitutes: we try things because we know they are highly exposed. What do you think ? »

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Africa isn’t a testing lab. I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all Scientists who carry out clinical trials try to find conditions in which large numbers of people are Africa is not a laboratory. I strongly denounce these very serious, racist and contemptuous words

The resolution " condemning President Trump's racist comments directed at Members of "These comments from the White House are disgraceful and disgusting and these comments are racist Representative Emanuel Cleaver and member of the Democratic Caucus, who was presiding over the

The researcher answers:« You are right, by the way. We are thinking in parallel to a study in Africa with the same type of approach, that does not prevent that we can think in parallel to a study in Europe and Australia. "

These remarks, for which the two accused have since apologized, have been condemned by associations and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that they" did not reflect the position of the French authorities ".

► Read also: Test of a vaccine in Africa: the doctor and the researcher apologize

“It is shameful and horrifying to hear scientists making such comments in the 21st century. We condemn them in the strongest terms, ”concluded Mr. Tedros.

(AFP)

Tests, tests: the Veneto model in the logistics test .
© Provided by Le Point It was with Lombardy, the epicenter of the pandemic in Europe but has massively tested its population: Veneto deplores twelve times less deaths from the coronavirus. When deconfinement begins, "we would like to extend screening in the country to find those who are infected as quickly as possible, including those who have no symptoms," says the director of the Italian Higher Institute of Health. , Silvio Brusaferro.

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