Didier Drogba, Ivory Coast National Soccer Team, left, with Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon National Soccer team reacts during a meeting before a training session in St-Gratien, outside Paris, France. Friday, May 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
As medical experts try to find a cure to the Coronavirus pandemic, DR Congo will take part in trials of vaccines against the disease even as Africa is erupting in condemnation of the continent being considered as test ground.
This decision comes after former footballers, Samuel Eto’o, Demba Ba and Didier Drogba blasted medical experts who suggested that Africa should be the testing ground for vaccines against the coronavirus.
The virus originated from China late last year and has affected over one million persons with almost 60,000 deaths. Italy, Spain and the USA are the countries with the highest casualties with over 25,000 deaths.
There is no cure for the virus yet, but medical experts have developed various vaccines set to be tried. Hoever, despite having just a few cases compared to other continents, Africa has been suggested as the testing ground for the vaccines. Africa has recorded only 25 deaths with … Coronavirus positive cases most of whom are in stable condition in isolation centers.
The trial suggestion by two French doctors did not sit well with some African footballers with Eto’o, Demba Ba and Drogba leading the protest. They all took to their social media pages to express their disgust at the suggestion.
“Africa is not your playing ground,” Eto said on his Instagram page.His comments were also echoed by Drogba and Demba Ba who both urged Africans to reject the idea.
“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 racists words.
“Helps us save Africa with the current ongoing Covid 19 and flatten the curve”, the responded.
Their reaction sparked off a chain of condemnation back home with some organizations raising petitions calling for the resignation of the doctors who made the suggestion, considered racist and disrespectful of .the dignity of Africans.
Meanwhile, head of the DR of Congo national taskforce Against COVID 19 says the country is prepared to take part in the vaccine trial.
.Jean Jacques Muyembe told a news briefing Friday, “We’ve been chosen to conduct these tests. The vaccine will be produced in the United States or in Canada or in China. We’re candidates for doing the testing here”, sparking off controversy in the country.
The head of the national biological institute suggested that clinical trials could begin in July or August according to news24.com.
“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.