Drogba and Eto'o call out 'racist' French doctors over Africa testing comments

Footballers Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o have reacted angrily to comments by two French doctors who said coronavirus vaccines should be tested in Africa.

In a tweet Drogba said: “I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all deeply racist words.”

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

Eto'o also expressed his frustration, calling the doctors "assassins".

The doctors have been accused of racism after suggesting that coronavirus vaccines be trialled in Africa.

Jean-Paul Mira, head of intensive care at Cochin hospital in Paris, and Camille Locht, head of research at the Inserm health research group, both said on French TV that there was a case for testing out the vaccines in African countries.

Research Institute Inserm said in 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,” it said.

“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."

Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) is a vaccine primarily given to babies in countries where tuberculosis is common.

Some recent studies have suggested that countries where BCG is administered reported fewer deaths related to Covid-19.

The BCG vaccine was first used medically in 1921.It is on the World Health Organisation's list of essential medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.

So far, Africa has been the least affected by the virus, but confirmed cases - and deaths - are increasing.

South Africa has the most confirmed cases - 1,462 - but just five confirmed deaths.

There have been 7,064 confirmed cases across the continent and 290 confirmed deaths, although there are fears the true number could be much higher.

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