İrem GÖL -TDO- During the debate on TV channel LCI, Camille Locht, head of research at the INSERM health research group, was talking about a trial in Europe and Australia. Jean-Paul Mira, head of intensive care at Cochin hospital in Paris, then said: “If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we be doing this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatments, and no resuscitation? A bit like as it is done elsewhere for some studies in AIDS. In prostitutes, we try things because we know that they are highly exposed and that they do not protect themselves.”

The in trial in question was the BCG, a vaccine against tuberculosis used for decades to help shield health workers and reputed to reduce suffering from respiratory illnesses among children as well as mitigating asthma and autoimmune diseases.

The comments received an angry response in social media. “Africa isn’t a testing lab,” replied retired Ivory Coast football star Didier Drogba. French group SOS Racisme said Africans are not guinea pigs. And a Moroccan lawyers’ collective said it would sue Mira for racial discrimination.

Paris’ clinic network, including Mira as head of intensive care at its Cochin hospital, on Friday quoted him saying: “I want to present all my apologies to those who were hurt, shocked and felt insulted by the remarks clumsily expressed.”

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