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Africans can’t be used for COVID-19 vaccine test, AU warns European scientists

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Africans can’t be used for COVID-19 vaccine test, AU warns European scientists

This photo taken on January 28, 2018 shows the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa during the opening of the Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for the 30th annual African Union summit. / AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

African Union, AU has kicked against the plan/suggestion by some scientists from Europe, especially France that, “Africans should be used as lab rats for vaccines being tested” for the ongoing spread of coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world.

Representative of the Africa Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council, AU-ECOSOCC Nigeria, Mr. Oba Olasunkanmi John, said though the Council commiserates with European countries and other nations of the world that are currently being affected adversely by COVID-19 virus, Africans should be left out of such plan.

Oba said in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja that “though, it is a known fact that Africa has served in the past as laboratories for European and America experiments, this is yet another proof of neo-colonization.”

He added that “it is, in practice, what Achille Mbembe denounces as “necro-politics”, a situation where the state decides who should die.”

“In as much as we all know that this virus is a global challenges being faced by almost all the countries of the world, it should not be reason(s) for scientists who should be guided by the Vienna Convention to utter words capable of causing more harm to Africans at this period where everybody should show love and uphold that fulcrum that bounded us together as humans,” he stressed.

Oba therefore insisted that in view of this, the Council condemned in totality the statement credited to French scientists that, vaccines being produced for COVID-19 be first tested on Africans simply because Africans recorded lowest death from the pandemic.

The Representative said “while the most recent survey shows that 65,605 people have died globally, with the United States alone recorded 8,454 deaths, China has 3,329; France has 7,560; Spain has 12,418 and Italy has 15,362; Germany 1,444; UK 4,313 and Iran 3,603 compared to the entire Africa that has so far recorded 280 deaths, it is not out of place to point out the least mortality rate among the G20 member countries which is much higher than the entire Africa countries put together.”

“But to think that such level of racism can still be displayed in the 21st century and at a time like this when the whole world is grieving shows the level of contempt with which Africans are held and how derogatorily Africans in Diaspora are being treated.

“I want to state without mincing words, that, if there is need for any tests, it should be carried out in countries with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection. Africa people will not accept to be treated as guinea pigs!

“It is on record that Africans have some of the best brains in the health sector, hence, it is high time Africa leaders look within to solve their health problems and see how to develop the much needed health sector.

“Africans have some of the best trado-medicine practitioners in the world; they should be encouraged as part of efforts to achieve the Agenda 2063 of the Africa Union.

“Africa leaders must understand that this war is not only against coronavirus, but also an economic war that must be fought collectively,” he stressed.

The Representative commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and others world leaders who have been working vigorously to ensure that the COVID-19 is brought to an end.

Oba said, it is high time Africans stand together, speak with one voice and work through African institutions to mobilise resources and harmonize support from international partners.

“There is need through coordinated action to materialize all commitments flexibly so that the health and economic impact of COVID-19 can be successfully mitigated on the masses,” he added.

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