Les Panafricaines criticise two French doctors over racist remarks

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By Wezi Nyirongo

The African women journalists network "Les Panafricaines" is strongly criticising two French doctors Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht for uttering racist remarks on Africans.

Mira, the head of intensive care at Cochin hospital in Paris and Lotch who heads the research department at the Inserm health research group suggest that coronavirus vaccines to be trialled in Africa.

Speaking on French TV, LCI, Locht asked "If I can be provocative, shouldn't this study be done Africa, where there is no mask, no treatment, no reanimation, a little like it has been done for some studies on AIDS, where prostitutes were asked to try things because we know they are highly exposed and they don’t protect themselves. What do you think?".

Jean-Paul Mira Professor Locht endorsed these words by replying "You are right, and besides that we are thinking about a study in Africa, precisely to do this same type of approach with BCG, a placebo.”

In a statement, the Les Panafricaines observes that the two doctors view Africans as guinea pigs on which an experiments would be carried out.

“What the doctors say about the African continent is first valid for the country in which he operates. That there are only 7,000 intensive care beds in when Germany has 27 000, that Parisian hospital staff are in dire need of masks” reads the statement.

Les Panafricaines further states that no country in the world has for the moment appropriate treatment to combat this unprecedented pandemic and that Africa and its people have no lessons to learn from these kind of individuals.

Adding “Whatever their difficulties, Africans approach them with dignity and draw their strength from their convictions. Jean-Paul Mira's comments cannot be considered as a mistake. By starting his question with "if I can be provocative", Jean-Paul Mira is perfectly aware of the scandalous scope and therefore reprehensible nature of his words. No excuse can be found for him”.

Les Panafricaines asks LCI to assume its responsibilities as broadcaster and appeal to the French regulatory authority, the CSA, guardian of the fight against discrimination, to take steps to call LCI firmly to order.

Les Panafricaines which has its headquarters in Casablanca, Morocco is a network of hundreds of women journalists across the 54 African countries, working in various media outlets worldwide.

The network's mission is to contribute to citizen awareness on the responsibility of media and their role in building public opinion.


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