Don’t use Africans as lab rats for COVID-19 vaccine, AU ECOSOCC tells Europe



The Africa Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) Nigeria home office has warned against the plan by some scientists from Europe to use Africans as lab rats for vaccines being tested on COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nigeria Representative, Mr Oba Olasunkanmi John, in a statement in Abuja, Monday said though the Council commiserates with  European countries and  other nations of the world that are currently being affected adversely by COVID-19, it is opposed to the idea of testing the vaccines on Africans.

“In as much as we all know that this virus is a global challenge being faced by almost all the countries of the world, it should not be reason 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 bind us together as humans.

“In view of the aforementioned, the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council condemns in totality statement credited to French scientists that, vaccines being produced for COVID-19 be first tested on Africans simply because Africans recorded lowest death from COVID-19,” he stated.

The AU ECOSOCC Nigeria representative said, “while the most recent survey shows that 65,605 people have died globally, with United States alone recording 8,454 dead; China 3,329; France 7,560; Spain 12,418; and Italy 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.”

He said 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 mixing 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!”

He said 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.

JUTH has 6 ventilators, best isolation centre, says CMD Banwat

By Muhammad Tanko Shittu

Jos

The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Dr Edward Banwat has said the hospital has about six functioning ventilators, with the best isolation centre in the country.

Dr. Banwat stated this during an interaction with newsmen recently at the hospital.

“Ventilators are in critical need across the globe because of the pandemic of coronavirus.

“Ventilators take over the respiration where there is shortness of the breath. Any hospital that doesn’t have ventilator might not be able to manage effectively the severe case of coronavirus,” he said.

Banwat stated that JUTH has few functioning ventilators in the hospital.

“We now have about six functioning ventilators in the hospital,” he said.

According to him, the hospital has one of the best isolation centres in the entire country, but that it lacks the necessary equipment to function properly.

“Our isolation centre is one of the best in the country, this has been attested to by the DG NCDC, Dr Chekwe, he visited us.

“The floor is of international standard, the equipment that is there is not what we want it to be particularly with this pandemic,” he said.

Dr. Banwat explained that the hospital is also producing standard hand sanitisers, urging people to constantly wash off their hands with soap and running water been the best way to protect themselves.

“Hand washing with running water is the first line, it is better than sanitizer, then use hand sanitisers for convenience,” he advised.

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