YOMOUSSOUKRO – Ivory Coast star striker Didier Drogba has condemned plans to conduct a coronavirus vaccine trial in Africa, saying that the continent is not a test lab.
On Thursday, April 2, Camille Locht, Director of the Research Institute of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and Jean Paul Mira, Cochin Hospital Intensive Care Service Officer, while being interviewed on a TV show in France, suggested that the ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trial should be conducted in Africa.
But Drogba, who also starred for Chelsea Football Club, said: “Africa is not a test lab. I strongly condemn these humiliating and racist expressions,” Drogba stressed from the social media account.
Drogba urged African leaders protect their citizens, indicating that it is “disgusting” to see Africans as guinea pigs,
“Let’s save ourselves from this crazy virus that has hit the world economy and broke the population,” Drogba said.
Former Cameroon star striker Samuel Eto’o, reacting to Didier Drogba’s social media account, posted: “I definitely do not agree with this. Africa is not a testing laboratory. I strongly condemn these humiliating and racist expressions.”
Clinical research is important in establishing the effects of health-care interventions. Vaccine clinical trials are to examine the effectiveness and safety of vaccines for the prevention of diseases.
Africa has often been used for vaccine trials because it has a high burden of infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and Ebola virus disease.
Data extracted from the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform between 22 July 2018 and 05 September 2019 found that 377 clinical trials were being conducted in Africa.
The proportion of trials involving multiple African countries was 11% and that of trials involving countries outside of Africa was 16%. The biggest funder of the vaccine trials (34%) was industry, followed by governments (25%) and universities (21%). The most studied diseases were malaria (20%), HIV/AIDS (15%), tuberculosis (7%), and Ebola virus disease (6%). Most of the vaccine trials were conducted in adults (42%). The trials ranged from phase I to phase IV, with most of the trials being in phase I (18%) and phase III (18%).