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Dismay as DR Congo offers its citizens for Covid-19 vaccine testing

<b>Dismay as DR Congo offers its citizens for Covid-19 vaccine testing</b>The decision by the Congolese authorities comes as two leading French doctors came under a storm of criticism after discussing on a television programme the idea of testing a vaccine for coronavirus in Africa.
The head of the country's taskforce against the pandemic, Jean-Jacques Muyembe told journalists: "We've been chosen to conduct these tests. The vaccine will be produced in the United States, or in Canada, or in China." The announcement has sparked outrage in DR Congo with citizens accusing the government of attempt to use them as guinea pigs. There have been outrage among Africans and the African diaspora after two French doctors suggested on live television that Africa should be the first place where coronavirus treatments be tested. Jean-Paul Mira, head of the intensive care unit at the Cochin hospital in Paris, made the offensive comments on Wednesday during an interview on French television channel LCI with Camille Locht, research director of France's national health institute, Inserm. Mira said: "If I could be provocative, should we not do this study in Africa where there are no masks, treatment or intensive care, a little bit like it's done, by the way, for certain AIDS studies or with prostitutes? We try things because we know that they are highly exposed and they don't protect themselves." Locht responded: "You are right. And by the way, we are in the process of thinking in parallel about a study in Africa ... That doesn't prevent us, in parallel, from also thinking about a study in Europe and in Australia." People are wondering why the vaccine shouldn't be first tested in countries most affected by the pandemic --United States, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, etc. A Moroccan lawyers' association said it was going to sue Mira for racial defamation. "It is inconceivable that we continue to accept this. Africa is not a laboratory. I strongly denounce these very serious, racist and contemptuous words," Didier Drogba, former Chelsea and Marseille striker wrote on his Facebook page and on Twitter.


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