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Africa Not Your Guinea Pig: Drogba, Eto’o Slam French Doctors Over Racist Comments

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Two French doctors have been accused of racism for suggesting a potential Covid-19 vaccine be tried out in Africa.


The doctors made the comments on Wednesday on the French television channel, LCI during a debate session on  a planned Covid-19 trails using the BCG tuberculosis vaccine set to launch  in Europe and Australia.


The doctors argued that the test would be most effective on Africans. Their argument was Africans do not have adequate PPE or strong health institutions and are more liable to get the virus.

racist french doctors
Photo: The Southern African


Speaking on the aired debate, Jean-Paul Mira, head of the intensive care unit at the Cochin Hospital said;

“It may be provocative. Should we not do this study in Africa where there are no masks, no treatment or intensive care, a little bit like it’s been done for certain AIDS studies, where among prostitutes, we try things, because we know that they are highly exposed and don’t protect themselves?” 


Camille Locht, research director at France’s national health institute, Inserm, agreed: “You are right. And by the way, we are thinking of in parallel about a study in Africa using this same approach.”

Consequent Reactions

Their comments sparked angry responses from many around the world as people express shock at the brazen display of  racism. Amongst the thousands that responded to the comments is  former Chelsea defender and Professor Didier Drogba.

racist french doctors
Photo: Daily Post

I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all deeply racist words,” Drogba’s tweet read.


“Do not take African people as human guinea pigs! It’s absolutely disgusting,” he added.

His tweet has over 18 thousand shares and comments.

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Also, four time African Player of The Year Samuel Eto’o has lashed out at two professors in the wake of their offensive comments. Sharing the video on his Instagram, Eto’o  told the french doctors “Africa is not your playing ground



Following the backlash, Inserm released a statement that the video was “the subject of erroneous interpretations”.


“Clinical trials to test the efficacy of the BCG vaccine against Covid-19 are… about to be launched in European countries and in Australia,” the statement read.


“If there is indeed a reflection around a deployment in Africa, it would be done in parallel with these. Africa must not be forgotten or excluded from research because the pandemic is global.


In a following  statement, Dr Mira also apologised for his comments: “I want to present all my apologies to those who were hurt, shocked and felt insulted by the remarks that I clumsily expressed on LCI this week.”


With 7,064 confirmed cases and 290 confirmed deaths, Africa is the least continent affected by the virus so far.


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